• Racing/
  • Mount Provides Novice Surprise

Growise Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f

  • (5yo+, 3m 1f, Class 1, 8 runners)
  • Winner €49,600 2nd €15,200 3rd €7,200 4th €2,400 5th €1,600
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 45.20s
  • Off time: 18:40:37
  • Last Updated: April 23 2013, 20:15 BST

Mount Benbulben was a surprise winner of the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Mount Benbulben: Foot perfect in big Novice chase
Mount Benbulben: Foot perfect in big Novice chase

The 14/1 chance had been far from foot perfect in his earlier starts over fences but there were no mistakes on this occasion as he ran out a comprehensive victor by 22 lengths.

Tofino Bay and Back In Focus shared the lead for the majority of the race, but the eye was drawn to the winner, who was travelling under a confident Danny Mullins, and having got to the front with two to negotiate, the eight-year-old soon had matters in hand.

Lyreen Legend was way back in third although Dessie Hughes looked unfortunate having become in a melee that saw Dedigout and Harry Topper out of the race on the first circuit.

The success provided a timely 21st birthday present for Mullins as it was the first Grade One of his riding career.

Elliott said: "We always thought he was a good horse, but his jumping has been his trouble. Everyone has done a great job at home.

"He's had his critics, but he's got an engine.

"Obviously he has to go right-handed, so he'll have a few options, but I'll have to talk to Barry (Connell, owner) about it."

Sky Bet quote Mount Benbulben at 33/1 for next season's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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