Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Martin to delay Benefficient Cheltenham call

Trainer Tony Martin
Trainer Tony Martin

Tony Martin will wait until nearer the time before deciding whether three-times Grade One winner Benefficient will line up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The eight-year-old claimed the Jewson Novices' Chase at Prestbury Park last season and will be heading back in March following victory in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival.

"He was very impressive. He really goes around Leopardstown well and has never let us down there," Martin said.

"I doubt if he'll run between now and Cheltenham. I don't think there's too much for him.

"We stuck him in the Champion Chase and the Ryanair. The entries are a week before, so we'll have a look at the entries and see about the ground.

"All being well, he'll run in one or the other. If Sprinter Sacre turns up, I'd say we'll avoid him and go for the Ryanair, but then again you've Cue Card who could go for either the Gold Cup or the Ryanair, so we'll see."

Martin also provided a positive update on Bog Warrior, which has not been seen since suffering injury when fifth in last year's World Hurdle.

The trainer is keeping his fingers crossed his charge will be fit enough to return to Cheltenham.

"He was unlucky in the World Hurdle last year. He came back with a big problem on his near-joint, but he's back in work and working away well," he said.

"If luck is on our side we might get a run into him at the end of the month or the beginning of next month.

"That (Cheltenham) is the aim. It all depends on what happens in the next month. The next month is crucial."

Irish Independent

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