/ Racing

Benefficient won a dramatic race in a three-runner affair for the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown

Updated: Saturday, 26 Jan 2013 16:57 | Comments

Benefficient, a Grade 1 winner over hurdles last season, is now also a Grade 1 winner over fences after his victory in the Irish Arkle
Benefficient, a Grade 1 winner over hurdles last season, is now also a Grade 1 winner over fences after his victory in the Irish Arkle

Benefficient won a dramatic race in a three-runner affair for the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Tony Martin's charge made the most of a fall at the fourth-fence of the hot favourite Arvika Ligeonniere and had just headed Oscars Well when he made a hash of the last.

That left Benefficient (10-1) to come home well clear under Bryan Cooper and register a second Grade One success after the Deloitte Novice Hurdle last February.

Martin said: "That's racing, we had the rub of the green today. It couldn't have happened to nicer lads, I'm just so happy for my owners.

"I feel so sorry for Willie (Mullins, trainer) and Rich Ricci (owner) but they were getting plenty of luck and it's our luck today. I just hope the other two horses are all right.

"We were a length off 'Puppy' (Robert Power, on Oscars Well) halfway up the straight and we actually jumped the last a length in front of him, so you can't say Benefficient was lucky with regards to Oscars Well.

"I don't know, he might have won or he mightn't but I'm absolutely delighted."

Looking ahead, Martin said: "I've no set plans. We got today out of the way and we'll see how we go now. He'll get an entry in the Arkle and Jewson (at Cheltenham).

"We'll pick what looks the lesser race and try and stay away from the likes of Simonsig. We'll set out to get place money, like today, and anything else is a bonus.

"He could wait for Liverpool as I'd much prefer a flat track and he disappointed at Cheltenham last year.

"It looked like he was going to be third or fourth behind Simonsig but he only finished ninth.

"I'd say the boys would be keen on going to Cheltenham again, though."

Cooper said: "I won my first Grade One on him in last year's Deloitte Hurdle here at Leopardstown and it's great to get another one with him today.

"He might have fell on his luck a bit, but that's racing. They are there to be jumped and he did it well.

"I know Oscars Well missed the last but I think I had him beat anyway and my lad galloped all the way to the line today. He threw in some very good jumps today and deserved that."

Stan James cut Benefficient to 25-1 from 40-1 for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham.

"He may have been unlucky that Arvika Ligeonniere departed before the race developed into a contest proper but he had Oscars Well beaten before he made the mistake," said Stan James' Joseph Burke.

"If the ground comes up soft at Cheltenham, he could run well."

Farrells Fancy (9-1) was all out to land the spoils in the Leopardstown Handicap Chase.

Terence O'Brien's charge was always prominent and led before the second-last, although Sweet My Lord looked like putting in a strong challenge when he fell at the final fence.

Farrells Fancy was treading water in the final strides but 5lb Mark Enright held him together to hold the late bid of Sweeney Tunes by a head with Klepht third and Carlingford Lough fourth.

O'Brien said: "In fairness to the horse, we always thought there was a big prize in him.

"We very nearly didn't run today because I just thought he doesn't really like heavy ground.

"It was touch and go whether we'd run or not, it was only on the toss of a coin really that we ran. He had bits of problems as he got a stress fracture but he gives everything."

Enright said: "He was keen all the way, he was running away from me for most of the race and I just had to keep bringing him back.

"Going to the second-last, I let him roll and he winged it and got a good jump at the last.

"I had to give it hell for leather from the last as he just idled on the way to the line."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use