Rachael Blackmore and Honeysuckle have won the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of horse racing’s Cheltenham Festival.

They’ve defended their title, after Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the race last year.

Honeysuckle was the favourite after winning all 14 of her starts over hurdles.

Blackmore spoke glowingly about Honeysuckle to Racing TV

Trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville have combined for a pair of winners today.

Marie’s Rock was an 18-to-1 winner of the Mares’ Hurdle.

And together they helped joint-favourite Constitution Hill win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Elsewhere, 5-to-2 favourite Edwardstone claimed the Arkle.

And Willie Mullins got on the boards with Stattler winning the National Hunt Chase

However, the festival has seen its first fatality, with Shallwehaveonemore put down after falling at the last in the Supreme.

It means the festival has seen the death of at least one horse since the year 2000.

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