Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle
Grade 1, Punchestown
€90,000 added,
4yo, 3m,
Class 1
Wednesday 30th April 2014

1 Beat That 11/8F
2 Don Poli 11/4
3 Lots Of Memories 7/1
9 ran Distances: ¾l, 1¾l, 7l
TIME 6m 5.10s (slow by 22.10s)

Beat That looked a hugely-exciting prospect when seeing off Don Poli by three quarters of a length to win the three-mile Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty.

Beat That
© Racehorse Photos
Beat That

Beat That was a strong favourite following an impressive victory at Aintree and Barry Geraghty cut a confident figure in the saddle rounding the home turn, with Ruby Walsh far more animated aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Don Poli.

However, the latter dug deep for pressure and there was almost nothing to chose between the pair jumping the final flight. The duo settled down for a thrilling tussle and it was Beat That who won the argument.

Don Poli
© Caroline Norris
Don Poli

Don Poli, winner of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle at Cheltenham, gave everything in second, with Lots Of Memories third.

The disappointment of the race was Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner Very Wood, who faded tamely in the straight after racing up with the pace.

Barry Geraghty commented: "Beat That is a big, weak horse so I did not want to get into a scrap too soon. I probably got into it soon enough, but he was good and has that bit of class.

"I would imagine he is a chaser for the future and he will be a lovely horse next year.

"It's great for Michael Buckley to win a Grade One here because he is a great supporter of the yard and racing in general, so it's a good result."

Owner Michael Buckley added: "That was wonderful. He's a game little fellow and Barry says he is still weak but he seems to get home.

"This is a great place, my mother was Irish so it's a bit like coming home, and everyone at Punchestown is so sweet, kind and welcoming. After the last month I don't know which planet I'm on - but it's not earth!"

Henderson said: "Barry said the horse didn't feel quite as fresh as he was at Aintree. He had a tough race that day and it was a real fierce battle. He did a piece of work on Saturday and it wasn't brilliant. He's only had four runs over hurdles and is a very progressive horse and it's exciting to put something like him away for the summer. He wanted to win and has a heart of gold.

"He's a three-mile chaser of the future and both he and Whisper are similar sorts and I suppose we could think about keeping one of them to staying hurdles. We don't have to make decisions now."

Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
€90,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Place Horse / Trainer Jockey Odds
2. Beat That
Nicky Henderson
B.J. Geraghty
11/8 F
3/4 L
7. Don Poli
W.P. Mullins
R. Walsh
1 3/4 L
4. Lots Of Memories
P.G. Fahey
S.E. Butler
7 L
1. Apache Jack
D. T. Hughes
A.P. McCoy
1 L
5. Shanahan's Turn
Henry de Bromhead
A.E. Lynch
2 1/4 L
9. Very Wood (FR)
Noel Meade
P. Carberry
3 1/4 L
6. Thunder And Roses
D. T. Hughes
B.T. O'Connell
2 3/4 L
8. Draycott Place
John Patrick Ryan
D.N. Russell
2 L
3. Captainofthefleet
Eamonn O'Connell
Andrew J. McNamara