Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares' Champion Hurdle
horse racing tipster
Grade 1, Punchestown 15:50
€100,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 2f, Class 1   
Saturday 28th April 2018


1 Benie Des Dieux 3/1
2 Augusta Kate 16/1
3 Apple's Jade 5/6F
8 ran NR: Asthuria, Lagostovegas, Pravalaguna, Redhotfillypeppers Distances: 3l, 2½l, 2¼l Time: 4m 54.70s (slow by 16.70s)

Well done to Willie Mullins & Rich Ricci with Benie Des Dieux following up her Cheltenham Festival success

Benie Des Dieux
© Racehorse Photos

Benie Des Dieux
Shortly before being crowned as champion trainer for 12th time, Willie Mullins sent out his 15th winner of the 2018 Punchestown Festival.
"She's as good as I thought she was," said Mullins. "My aim all year was to run her at Cheltenham and then hopefully to come on here. She's the female version of Douvan, if you saw the work she did at home. We'll talk about sending her chasing next year but I want to see what there is over fences for her, are there the races to go for?"
Reflecting on the week, he added: "My team at home, my owners and people that follow the yard have enjoyed it but for me it was more a relief. Being able to get into a challenging position for the title after Tuesday was just a pure relief. I'm humbled to have won the same number of championships as Tom Dreaper, he was God when I was growing. I'm enjoying training as much as getting ever and trying to find the horses. But it's not getting any easier to win, thanks to the likes of Gordon (Elliott). But we've got together a really strong team at home- it's a big thing having the likes of Patrick (Mullins), David Casey and Ruby there helping to put everything together."
Owner Rich Ricci added: "Benie Des Dieux was very good. I was a little worried that Paul went a bit soon and, when you eyeball Apple's Jade, she is as tough as teak. I have always liked this mare - she is very good - and I can't wait to see her back over a fence because I think that is where her game is. The way she jumps, it puts a lot pressure on some of the muscles on the back. It's hard to get her back quickly again but hopefully we will see if we can straighten her out. She is a brilliant jumper and I would love to see her back over fences. Today showed that she is not short of pace either, which is fantastic. We have had a great week. It's great to have the sunshine and a bit of luck. The ball seems to have bounced our way. I couldn't believe that Apple's Jade was so short in the betting but I hope that the O'Learys have had a good week as they do so much. Apple's Jade is a great mare and I am sure that will bounce back next season."
Winning rider Paul Townend added: "Robbie set a good gallop before Jack (Kennedy on Apple's Jade) took it off him and kept it up but Benie Des Dieux came alive for me over the third last and second last. She stays well and is a very good mare - she has proven that Cheltenham was no fluke. She is very versatile and has jumped a fence very well. Wherever she goes, she will be a force to be reckoned with."

Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
€100,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 2f, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Benie Des Dieux (FR) 3/1 P Townend
W P Mullins 7
2nd 3 Augusta Kate 16/1 D J Mullins
W P Mullins 7
3rd Apple's Jade (FR) 5/6f J W Kennedy
G Elliott 6
4th Let's Dance (FR) 9/1 Rachael Blackmore
W P Mullins 6
5th 11 Barra (FR) 33/1 M P Walsh
G Elliott 7
6th 7 Midnight Tour 12/1 D N Russell
A King 8
7th Jer's Girl (IRE) 12/1 B J Geraghty
G P Cromwell 6
PU Forge Meadow (IRE) 14/1 R M Power
Mrs J Harrington 6
NR Asthuria (FR) B J Cooper
W P Mullins 7
NR Lagostovegas (IRE) Rachael Blackmore
W P Mullins 6
NR Pravalaguna (FR) D E Mullins
W P Mullins 6
NR Redhotfillypeppers (IRE) B Hayes
W P Mullins 6

Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP
2017 Apple’s Jade 5-11-07 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott Bryan Cooper Evs Fav
2016 Whiteout 5-11-07 Mrs David Lawlor Willie Mullins Paul Townend 16/1
2015 Annie Power 7-11-07 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 2/9 Fav
2014 Annie Power 6-11-07 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 1/6 Fav
2013 Glens Melody 5-11-07 Ms Fiona McStay Willie Mullins Paul Townend 7/2

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