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Benie Des Dieux turns on the style for Willie Mullins with Opera Hat verdict

Sat 10 Feb 2018

Benie Des Dieux made it three wins in as many starts over fences in the BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase at Naas.

The seven-year-old was a winner for trainer Willie Mullins on her Irish debut in December 2016 but was then off the track for a year before making a victorious return at Carlisle.

Sent off the evens favourite to claim this Listed event, Benie Des Dieux raced prominently under David Mullins and only stablemate Asthuria laid down a challenge to her.

The pair jumped the last together, but Benie Des Dieux asserted on the run to the line, coming home two and a half lengths clear, with Dinaria Des Obeaux back in third.

The winning rider said: "She travelled nearly a bit too well, but she's so quick over a fence.

"She was a bit keen there on the soft ground but it was just her class coming through. I was making ground everywhere and I couldn't really get her to come back.

"She's a pleasure to ride and so easy to have anything to do with.

"She's so quick over a fence that she could do anything. She could come back jumping hurdles as she nearly jumps her fences like a hurdle."

Benie Des Dieux is a best priced 16-1 for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival, but as short as 4-1 with bookmakers offering the non-runner-no-bet concession.

She can also be backed at 16-1 for the Ryanair Chase at Prestbury Park.

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