• Racing/
  • Beat That Just Denies Don Poli

Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m

  • (4yo+, 3m, Class 1, 9 runners)
  • Winner €55,800 2nd €17,100 3rd €8,100 4th €2,700 5th €1,800
  • Going: Good to Yielding
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 5.10s
  • Off time: 16:57:25
  • Last Updated: April 30 2014, 18:15 BST

Nicky Henderson plundered a decent prize at Punchestown when Beat That backed up his recent Aintree victory by taking the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle.

Beat That beats Don Poli in a Punchestown thriller
Beat That beats Don Poli in a Punchestown thriller

The smart prospect was sent off a well-backed 11/8 favourite but had to pull out all of the stops to repel the challenge of Cheltenham Festival winner Don Poli on the run-in.

He travelled smoothly in midpack in the early stages as Apache Jack cut out the early gallop, but despite meeting a little bit of trouble as the field clustered rounding the final turn, emerged going nicely on the run to the final fence.

However Don Poli and Ruby Walsh, on his outside, drew up to throw down his challenge and the first two settled down for a duel.

Halfway up the run-in, it appeared that Don Poli might just get the better of the argument but his challenge faltered as the runners came together and Beat That went on again to score by three-quarters of a length.

Lots Of Memories kept on well for third place, but Very Wood proved a disappointment and faded out of contention under pressure in the final stages.

"He's a big, weak horse and I didn't want to get into a scrap too soon," said Geraghty. "I probably got into it soon enough, but he was good and has a bit of class. He should be a real horse next year."

Henderson was in no rush to make firm plans for next season with the winner, who has hurdles and fences as alternative options.

The trainer said: "Barry said he wasn't quite as fresh as he felt at Aintree, but that was a tough race.

"He's a very progressive horse. He missed Cheltenham, went to Aintree and is a very exciting one to put away over the summer to think about what we're going to do.

"He's only had four hurdle races but he was so slick there.

"He and Whisper are the two that look like chasers, but the three-mile (hurdle) division is wide open and we do have to think about whether one stays over hurdles for another season. Which one does, I don't know."