Meath trainer Tony Martin was back in the winners enclosure at Leopardstown today as his Benefficient was a surprise winner of the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, but it was Longwood-based Gordon Elliott who stole the show at the south Dublin track as he saddled a hat-trick of winners.
Elliott saddled 16/1 shot Double Irish to victory in the Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle over two miles. The mount of Davy Russell, Double Irish was 13 lenghts clear of 11/8 favourite Champagne James.
Elliott recorded another win 90 minutes later when his 10/1 shot Rocky Wednesday, under the guidance of Robbie Colgan, finished just over two lenghts clear of Martin’s Lastoftheleaders to take the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle.
Despite failing to complete his hat-trick when 6/1 favourite Cause of Causes, with AP McCoy on board, finished second in the €190,000 Paddy Power Steeplechase Elliott did manage to make it a treble when No More Heroes won the last of the day, the Paddy Power Ipad App flat race, at 15/8 favopurite with Mr S Clements taking the rise.
Despite winning the Irish Arkle for Moynalvey based Martin over the course and distance earlier in the year and landing the Jewson Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, seven-year-old Benefficient appeared up against it in the Grade One Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase 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 Ashbourne’s 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.
“He runs well for Bryan and you could see halfway down the back straight he was going well,” said Martin after the win.
“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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