Honeysuckle Ensures Punters Bash the Bookies on Day 1

The crowds flocked back to the Cheltenham Festival in their droves on the opening day after a baron year for track spectators, with the big highlight – Honeysuckle – hoping to defend her Champion Hurdle title.

The Henry De Bromhead ‘wonder mare’ was once again one of the ‘Festival Bankers’ that punters were keen to populate their Cheltenham Festival accas with – therefore the bookmakers had an added special interest in the race.

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Honeysuckle Doesn’t Disappoint Champion Hurdle Backers

Despite many feeling that last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner – Appreciate It – would be able to serve it up to Honeysuckle, that faith was shattered when the Mullins-trained 8 year-old weakened in the home straight to eventually finish a well-beaten 7th.

With jockey Rachael Blackmore in the ideal position through the race, she made her move on Honeysuckle just before the home straight and powered to the front with one to jump – it was then business as usual for the current champ as she romped away to a 3 ½ length success.

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Honeysuckle Win Will Have The Bookies Worried

With Honeysuckle the first of the big Cheltenham Festival bankers to win, the bookmakers will now head into Tuesday night with a restless night, knowing thousands of Cheltenham accas are still alive.

As the action heads into Wednesday, the next big banker will be Sir Gerhard @ 4/6 with William Hill in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (1:30) and if that Willie Mullins horse wins, the attention will turn to Shishkin @Evs in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (3:30).

If that pair win, then when the action moves into Thursday, the bookmakers will be running for cover if the Ryanair Chase hot favorite Allaho @ 8/13 with William Hill wins too.

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Honeysuckle 2/1 To Win The 2023 Champion Hurdle

She made it 15 wins from 15 starts over hurdles, and after winning her second Champion Hurdle the bookmakers were giving Honeysuckle quotes of 2/1 with William Hill to land a third in 2023.

However, after a 22-length romp in Tuesday’s opening race – The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – the Nicky Henderson-trained Constitution Hill has been put in also at 2/1 with William Hill for the 2023 Champion Hurdle.

Who would you back at this stage for 2023?

Back Honeysuckle @ 2/1 with William Hill to win the 2023 Champion Hurdle
Back Constitution Hill @ 2/1 with William Hill to win the 2023 Champion Hurdle

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