Friday 24 November 2017

Tony Martin's Benefficient lands the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown

Trainer Tony Martin
Trainer Tony Martin

Benefficient was a surprise winner of the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown.

Despite winning the Irish Arkle over the course and distance earlier in the year and landing the Jewson Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, the seven-year-old appeared up against it in this Grade One event.

Last year's winner Sizing Europe cut out much of the running, but the writing was on the wall for his supporters when he backed off a fence going down the back straight and received a reminder from Andrew Lynch.

As the veteran began to feel the pinch, the pack closed up, with Willie Mullins' 7-4 favourite Arvika Ligeonniere travelling powerfully rounding the home turn.

However, he could not pick up after the last fence and 9-1 shot Benefficient galloped all the way to the line under Bryan Cooper for a decisive victory.

Hidden Cyclone, who appeared to be slightly impeded by the winner after the last and had to switch, ran a fantastic race to finish second for Shark Hanlon, with Arvika Ligeonniere not far away in third.

Sizing Europe was a distant fourth.

A stewards' inquiry ensued but the placings remained unaltered, and Martin said: "He runs well for Bryan and you could see halfway down the back straight he was going well.

"Bryan just suits the horse so well. I should never have run him in Wetherby (Charlie Hall). He worked 12 days before that with Flemenstar at Tipperary, what Flemenstar did to him that day was unreal and he left his race behind as he did far too much.

"The Topham Chase at Aintree was in my mind before today, but he'll probably be too high in the handicap now and we'll have to think about races like the Ryanair (at Cheltenham), or maybe even the Queen Mother (Champion Chase) if the ground was soft."

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