Cheltenham Festival: Ruby Walsh gives view on where Benie Des Dieux will race

I'm not sure a Champion Hurdle bid would suit Benie Des Dieux.



There’s five weeks or so to go so let’s talk Cheltenham Festival. Something I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot over the next month or so.

I’m not sure if you’ve all seen it but there’s been some interesting stuff from Rich Ricci about Benie Des Dieux.

Benie has won eight of her nine starts since joining Willie Mullins – her one defeat coming when falling at the final flight when defending her Mares Hurdle crown.


Anyway, Rich Ricci – Benie’s owner – has raised the prospect of Benie Des Dieux running in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

“I don’t know if she’ll be fast enough,” Rich said on Racing TV. “But it’s something you’ll have to consider.

He continued: “We haven’t had a discussion about it, but just given how open the Champion Hurdle is, you would have to think about it if she is a two-miler.

The latest racing odds are over on

“She’s very good over a two and a half and three, but it reminds me a bit of Annie Power in the Stayers’ and that was a mistake.

“We should have gone for the Champion Hurdle. We’ll have to see, but it certainly has to be on the table.”

So he’s thrown out the chance of Benie Des Dieux being supplemented into the Champion Hurdle – but here’s my take of it.

Benie Des Dieux wins at Gowran Park

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You see, I just don’t know. Her form is stronger over three miles and two-and-a-half miles than two miles, so I don’t think that’s going to happen.

But that’s only my opinion and thoughts.

Honeysuckle obviously won the Irish Champion Hurdle but connections are leaning towards the Mares Hurdle. They haven’t definitely ruled out the Champion, but they are leaning towards the Mares and I think that’ll be a good match-up – Honeysuckle against Benie Des Dieux.

So despite what Rich says, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

The latest racing odds are over on

What do you think?