Review leopardstown 27th Dec

Fri 27th Dec 2013, 16:30

Benefficient is driven out by Bryan Cooper to beat Hidden Cyclone and Arvika Ligeonniere (pink)
© Photo Healy Racing

Tony Martin's top-class jumper Benefficient added a third Grade One prize to his impressive CV with a gutsy success in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown.

Sent off a 9-1 chance after finishing well behind in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby, the seven-year-old raced in third for most of the way in the hands of Bryan Cooper as last year's winner Sizing Europe set the pace.

The veteran dropped away after the home turn and there was little in it between three runners at the final fence before Benefficient asserted to beat the slightly impeded Hidden Cyclone by three-quarters of a length, with Arvika Ligeonniere a further half a length away.

Philip Fenton's tough customer The Tullow Tank, already a Grade One winner having taken the Royal Bond on his last outing, repeated the trick in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle.

Favourite Moyle Park looked to be going well turning in but found little, and Danny Mullins hit the front going to the final flight on The Tullow Tank (9-4) before forging eight lengths clear of front-runner King Of The Picts.

There was a pulsating finish to the valuable Paddy Power Chase and it went to the Willie Mullins-trained Rockyaboya (7-1), who looked to have the race in the bag under Ruby Walsh going to the last but had to pull out the stops to resist Tony McCoy on favourite Cause Of Causes by a short head.

Aidan O'Brien's newcomer Plinth (3-1) made rapid progress going to the last in the Paddy Power iPad App 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle but put in a poor jump and had to be rousted along by McCoy to grab favourite Ivan Grozny and score by a head.

Gordon Elliott landed a treble, Double Irish (16-1) clearing away to win the Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle by 13 lengths eased down, Rocky Wednesday (10-1) coming with a late rattle to take the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle, and No More Heroes (15-8 favourite) destroying the opposition in the bumper.

THE IRISH TIMES