Review Leopardstown 26th Jan

Sat 26th Jan 2013, 17:50

Mala Beach jumps the last from City Slicker
©Healy Racing Photos

Tony Martin's outsider-of-three Benefficient dramatically landed what was in the end an easy victory in an extraordinary running of the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

The odds-on Arvika Ligeonniere went into the Grade One contest with a reputation as the best novice in Ireland, and he bowled along nicely in front until making a bad blunder four out and ending up on the floor.

Oscars Well was left in the lead, but never looked comfortable in the testing ground and was about to be passed by Bryan Cooper on Benefficient (10-1) when he made an awful mess of the last, and he was eventually beaten 20 lengths.

Willie Mullins, trainer of Arvika Ligeonniere, didn't have any luck in the valuable Leopardstown Handicap Chase either, as Sweet My Lord was travelling like a winner when he came down at the last and handed the prize to Mark Enright on the Terence O'Brien-trained Farrells Fancy (9-1).

However, the champion trainer still made his mark, notching up a double highlighted by the victory of Abbey Lane in the richest race of the day, the Handicap Hurdle.

Emmet Mullins gave the 16-1 a cool ride, launching a decisive challenge after jumping the final flight and surging clear to beat Rocky Wednesday by two and a half lengths.

Mullins also won with Fatcatinthehat (8-15 favourite), who was a final-flight faller with the race in the bag last time but had no such alarms in the Maiden Hurdle as he led all the way under Paul Townend and won easily by eight lengths.

There was a thrilling finish to the Grade Two Bet On Your Mobile Novice Chase, which went the way of the Noel Meade-trained 6-1 shot Texas Jack.

There were four in with a chance jumping the last, but Paul Carberry had most left in the locker and forged clear before holding Lord Windermere by half a length, with Marito close up and Mount Benbulben also involved.

The Cheltenham Festival - Will You Have a Flutter?

The Cheltenham Festival begins on the 14th March. The excitement is building: horses are being put through their final preparations on the gallops, jockeys are being booked for rides and anticipation is high for the four day Festival. Many thousands of racing fans will make the trip to the Cotswolds while others will watch from afar but, one thing is for sure, they will all have a bet on their fancies for the big races.