Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle won the Unibet Champion Hurdle for a second year in a row at Cheltenham on Tuesday and even by festival standards got a reception for the ages.
The eerie behind-closed-doors silence that greeted their groundbreaking victory in 2021 due to Covid-19 was replaced by a raucous outpouring of popular acclaim from a full house at Prestbury Park.
Much of it was to do with the unique place Blackmore and her partner have secured for themselves in public regard.
The 8-11 favourite’s 3½-length defeat of the 2020 champion, Epatante, extended her unbeaten record to 15 races.
In a feverish atmosphere, Blackmore was once again coolness personified, navigating Honeysuckle fro …