Honeysuckle maintained her unbeaten record with an all-the-way win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Boreen Belle Mares Novice Hurdle at Thurles.
Henry de Bromhead was speaking in glowing terms about the four-year-old, who has also won a point-to-point, when she won on her debut under Rules at Fairyhouse.
Stepped up markedly in class, Rachael Blackmore decided to keep things simple and soon had the 8-11 favourite in an early lead.
Despite the challengers queuing up behind her at the turn into the home straight, Honeysuckle quickened impressively without Blackmore ever having to get serious.
To her credit Sassy Diva stuck to her task in behind but was beaten three and a quarter lengths, which flattered the runner-up.
Winning trainer de Bromhead said: “She did it the hard way and has done nothing wrong. She is unbeaten in three starts now – and over every sort of a trip.
“It wasn’t ideal to make the running, and you’d have preferred something else for company – she is a only baby and today was only her third run.”
Ambitious longer-term plans are in the offing.
De Bromhead added: “There’s a 2m2f race for her at the end of January at Fairyhouse, but I’m not sure and will speak to the owner. She’s a mare who doesn’t need to be over-raced.
“I’d hope she’ll run in the mares’ novice at Cheltenham, and I think she’s entitled to go there, but it’s still a long way away. She’s a lovely mare, and we’re lucky to have her.”