As Sweet as Honey
WINNER 30 OF 2022: HEREWEGOHONEY, trained by Fergal O'Brien and ridden by Paddy Brennan: 'The Sun Trade Windows Mares' Novices' Hurdle' over 2m 3.5f at Chepstow.
We returned to the scene of Tango Tara's win on Bank Holiday Monday this week - in fact over the same distance. This time in the company of the lovely mare Herewegohoney...
She was a winner over this distance at Doncaster on March 18th; lining up here under top weight, but with the undoubted experience of Paddy Brennan in the saddle. Setting off in 3rd, she chased the leaders, going smoothly, without needing too much effort, she moved into second. She was jumping very well and making up ground as she flew over the hurdles. As we watched, we could see many of the field come off the bridle in behind. Paddy asked her to kick on and she went clear 2 from home. She was being challenged by the favourite, but always looking the more comfortable of the pair. Jumping the last well, she kept on strongly in the run-in to win by 2 and 3/4 lengths, with 31 lengths back to the 3rd placed horse.
"Herewegohoney is going to hold off the favourite here!" Watch the race replay here: https://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Chepstow/22-April-2022/1645
Fergal was there and there were lovely scenes of him jumping up and down as she crossed the line in front, with Luke Harvey saying "Fergal is going crazy here!" Catching up with him on Sky Sports Racing, Fergal said "I am delighted. Tom and the Middleham Park team have been so good to us and they are great to train for. She is tough!"
Timeform rated it as a career best 118 performance, saying: "Improved as she followed up from last time, better positioned than the favourite but holding that rival fair and square; chased leader, upsides fifth, went on end of back straight, shaken up 2 out, asserted before last, stayed on well; she's the type to make a chaser when the time comes."
See the official photos, here: https://chepstowracecoursephotographs.zenfolio.com/p332652362
Syndicate manager Tom says: "Congratulations once again to her owners. This is becoming a lovely habit! It was wonderful to see her confirm the promise that we saw from her at Doncaster and to do it under a penalty as well is really exciting. Her jumping was once again excellent and the lengths that she was making up at the flights took her towards the head of affairs. Paddy got his timings spot on and made use of her stamina and again, she never really looked like getting caught. She will be suited by a step up to 3 miles when we decide to go there and the shape she makes over her hurdles and combined with her point win suggests that we'll be even better again over fences. There really is a lot to look forward to with her but she's already given us all some seriously great memories. Thank you to Fergal, not just for his training of her, but for his kind words spoken to Luke Harvey on Sky Sports Racing, after the race."
We end the domestic National Hunt season, with a 22% winners strike rate this year. Capped of course by the absoutely wonderful Grade 1 win by MARIE'S ROCK at The Cheltenham Festival.
We're not finished yet though, before the majority of our string head off for their summer breaks, as our Nicky Henderson trained mare is heading for the Punchestown Festival next weekend! She will contest the Grade 1 €125,000 Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle. Read the latest story here, with an update from Tom: https://www.irishracing.com/news?headline=Marie-s-ready-to-Rock-in-Punchestown-contest&prid=231561