Benson will shoot for a £100,000 Cheltenham Festival bonus after winning bet365 Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso, as trainer Sandy Thomson looks to enter the horse in the Coral Hurdle and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
- Sandy Thomson-Trained Benson will go for £100k bonus at Cheltenham Festival
- The gelding won the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso and looks to go again
Sandy Thomson-trained Benson will shoot for a £100,000 bonus at the Cheltenham Festival after a cosy win in the feature bet365 Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso.
The six-figure sum is offered to a runner which can follow up a win in yesterday’s race with victory at the biggest meeting of the season which starts in March 14 and Emmet Mullins-trained The Shunter landed it in 2021.
Benson, a talented gelding who returned to form since being switched to Thomson’s Borders stable, is entered in both the Coral Hurdle and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle and the former looks his likely destination.
Paddy Power cut his odds to 16-1 from 33-1 after beating Colonel Mustard, who is also Festival-bound, two lengths.
Winning jockey Ryan Mania, who went on to complete a double on the Thomson-trained Empire Steel in the Bet365 Premier Chase, said: ‘I thought I gave him a terrible ride. He wasn’t quick enough to lay up early on and I found myself further back than I wanted.
Sandy Thompson will be hoping his horse goes for £100k bonus at the Cheltenham Festival
Benson is entered in both the Coral Hurdle and the Martin Pipe Conditional at the festival
But they played into his hands. The went off too fast too early and they all came back to me.
‘Providing he comes out of this race OK, he will go to Cheltenham with a genuine chance.’
OWNER JP McManus has bought Emmet Mullins-trained Corbetts Cross, ante-post 7-2 favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on the final day of the Festival.
PADDY POWER: CHAMPION HURDLE ODDS
Constitution Hill – 4/11
State Man – 11/4
Vauban – 9/1
Honeysuckle – 14/1
Epatante – 14/1
I Like To Move It – 14/1
Echoes In Rain – 25/1
Love Envoi – 33/1
Sharjah – 50/1
Zanahiyr – 50/1
Pied Piper – 66/1
First Street – 66/1
Not So Sleepy – 100/1
Jason The Militant – 100/1
All odds courtesy of Paddy Power, the full list for this race can be found HERE
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