Ruby Walsh, one of, if not arguably the most talented jockey of all time, has had his say on what horse he thinks is the banker of the Cheltenham Festival. It may come as no surprise that it is of course the super-mare, Benie Des Dieux.
Today, she was taken out of the Champion Hurdle entries which as good as confirms the fact that she will take on another super-mare in the shape of the Henry De Bromhead trained Honeysuckle, who won the Irish Champion Hurdle when last seen.
Ruby Walsh said “I would be firmly in the Benie camp. She fell in the race last year when she was going to win. She has won her three runs since, Punchestown, Auteuil and Gowran Park.”
“She is in incredible fashion and the race is going to remind me of Apple’s Jade, Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini, a half-length and a short-head is all that was in it when they lined up here three or four years ago.”
“It’s a cracking race and it will be a great spectacle on Tuesday afternoon. Fifth race on the card, I’m in the Benie camp but I have an allegiance to that association.”
Things then moved on to Robbie Puppy Power who agreed with Ruby that Benie Des Dieux is going to take the world of beating.
It may come as a bit of a surprise to many that Honeysuckle is lining up in the race to take on Benie Des Dieux. She could have opted for the Champion Hurdle where she would receive weight off much lesser horses than Benie and Henry De Bromhead might regret that decision come Tuesday afternoon.
One thing is for sure, Benie looks an absolute monster and Willie Mullins was quoted saying that she is as good, if not better then Annie Power, who herself was a Champion Hurdle winner. It should be a fantastic race in store but Benie Des Dieux is the one to be on.