State Man defeats Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown

State Man defeated three-time champion Honeysuckle at Leopardstown to win the Irish Champion Hurdle.

State Man, ridden by Paul Townend and coached by Willie Mullins, was the 6-5 favorite and denied Rachael Blackmore’s mount Honeysuckle a chance to win four straight races.

In Dublin, Vauban and his rider Danny Mullins came in third.

State Man, who has five straight victories over hurdles, “performed everything perfectly” in the race, according to trainer Mullins.

We couldn’t have wished for anything more, the 66-year-old Irishman told ITV Sport.

“He leaped all the way down the back like a champion hurdler, I thought. Paul posed some challenging questions to him, and each time, he responded. I’m overjoyed.

State Man led the pack the entire time, but Honeysuckle was able to follow in his wake until the very end.

However, Honeysuckle was unable to keep up with State Man as he charged out of the turn, and Mullins‘ horse eventually crossed the finish line four and three-quarter lengths in front.

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