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Hanlon plans appeal after Hidden Cyclone tamed by Benefficient at Leopardstown

Updated: Friday, 27 Dec 2013 18:40 | Comments

Hidden Cyclone was forced to go around Benefficient in the final straight at Leopardstown
Hidden Cyclone was forced to go around Benefficient in the final straight at Leopardstown

Trainer Shark Hanlon plans to appeal against the result of the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown after Hidden Cyclone was narrowly denied by Benefficient.

The two fought out a tremendous finish to the Grade One feature, along with favourite Arvika Ligeonniere, with Benefficient appearing to hamper Hidden Cyclone in the closing stages.

The Leopardstown stewards deliberated over the result, but ruled the placings should remain unaltered.

Hanlon feels it was the wrong call.

He said: "I'm very disappointed, to be honest. I thought we'd get it in the stewards' room.

"It took them half an hour to make up their minds and, in my opinion, we should have been awarded the race.

"He's been beaten three-quarters of a length and I think when you have to go around another horse like that, it costs you two lengths.

"I've no doubt if the two horses had run straight to the line our horse would have been in front and a lot of people in Leopardstown agreed with me.

"We're definitely going to appeal and it's a shame it ended like that as it was a super run from the horse.

"I think two miles or two and a quarter miles looks to be his best trip. Maybe he gets two and a half miles on better ground.

"We'll look at Cheltenham in March, maybe with one run between now and then."

"I've no doubt if the two horses had run straight to the line our horse would have been in front." - Hanlon

It was another surprise victory for Tony Martin's 9-1 shot Benefficient, who had previously upset the big guns in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, the Irish Arkle and the Jewson Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Last year's winner Sizing Europe cut out much of the running, but he was beaten before the home turn and Arvika Ligeonniere loomed up ominously.

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 Benefficient and Bryan Cooper passed the post narrowly ahead.

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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