Benie Des Dieux – Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle, Punchestown Festival (2018)

She’s been tricky to train but quite a mare when on song – Benie Des Dieux, winner of the OLBG Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last time out, confirms the form with Apple’s Jade to run out a ready winner of the Irish EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival under jockey Paul Townend for trainer Willie Mullins and owners Rich and Susannah Ricci.

Five from five now in the UK and Ireland and unbeaten for Willie Mullins, a return to fences seems favoured by connections next season.

“At home I call her Benie Des Douvan,” said Willie Mullins in reference to his multiple top-level winner.

“I thought after her first win she had the ability of Douvan. I wondered whether she was a female version of Douvan. She’s as good as I thought she was.

“My aim all year was to win the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and hopefully come back here, and she has done both things properly. She’s a real good mare.”

Exciting times ahead…

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