Trainer Henry de Bromhead has ruled the highly-fancied Honeysuckle out of next week’s Cheltenham Festival.

The Ken Alexander-owned five-year-old is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, most recently claiming a victory in the Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in January.

The bay mare had been expected to run in Thursday’s National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, but de Bromhead has now confirmed she will not be making the trip to Prestbury Park as she is not in prime condition.

De Bromhead said: “Unfortunately Honeysuckle won’t be running at Cheltenham. She’s not 100 per cent, so we’ll leave her at home.

The Irish trainer is happy to wrap Honeysuckle up in cotton wool for the time being, with a run at Fairyhouse or Punchestown likely to be her next port of call.

“She’s a very good mare with a big future, so we’ll look after her,” de Bromhead added. “Hopefully we’ll be able to go to Fairyhouse and Punchestown.”

Honeysuckle was one of two high-class mares that were set to head to Cheltenham for De Bromhead, with Sinoria having been expected to run in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday.

However, the Knockeen-handler has now confirmed that Sinoria (6/1 – To win race) could now take Honeysuckle’s place in the Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

He continued: “Sinoria is in good form and I’d say it’s almost certain she’ll now run in the mares’ novice.”

Honeysuckle’s absence could also come as a boost to favourite Epatante, (6/4 – To win race) who is trained by Nicky Henderson, while Paul Nicholls’ charge Posh Trish (9/2) will also fancy her chances.

Odds subject to change.