Honeysuckle was forced to work harder than she ever has before to maintain her unbeaten record in the PCI Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Henry de Bromhead's mare arrived with six wins in as many starts over hurdles, most recently making a seamless transition to open company in winning the two-and-a-half-mile Hatton's Grace Hurdle.

Dropping back to two miles here, there was plenty of market confidence with Honeysuckle being sent off the 8-11 favourite.

Everything was going according to plan with Rachael Blackmore tracking stablemate Petit Mouchoir into the straight, with nothing else threatening to get into the race.

Honeysuckle jumped the last awkwardly, though, handing the initiative back to Petit Mouchoir before the outsider Darver Star came flying from the rear.

Honeysuckle was game on the rail though, just getting back up to win by half a length from Darver Star with Petit Mouchoir the same distance away in third.