Maria’s Benefit maintained her unbeaten record over fences with a typically gutsy display in the Canter Carpet Mares’ Novices’ Chase at Bangor – and a trip to Kempton at Christmas may now be on the cards.
With Listed honours up for grabs in Bangor’s feature race of the season, Stuart Edmunds’ front-runner only faced one serious rival according to the betting, Jester Jet.
Tom Lacey’s mare brought some good form to the table, having got within two lengths of the classy Bags Grove on her chasing debut, and she certainly made Maria’s Benefit pull out all the stops.
As usual, Maria’s Benefit (2-5 favourite) set a stiff tempo under Ciaran Gethings – but Robbie Dunne nursed Jester Jet to within touching distance on jumping the second last.
However, she could never quite get on terms, and Maria’s Benefit stuck on gamely to win by a length and a quarter.
“Her jumping was very accurate today,” said Edmunds.
“We were very pleased with her, and Ciaran said he was always very happy.
“That’s probably the furthest she’s ever been, almost two-mile-two, so we’re all very happy.”
It was the mare’s round of jumping which especially impressed her trainer.
“She’s like a rubber ball,” said Edmunds.
“Ciaran said he went to go too long at the third last, and she popped in a short one – she can just do it. She’s not over-tall, but she’s smart.
“I’m not totally sure where next, because it’s a problem I’ve never had before, so I’ll have a good look in the book.
“Once you win a mares’ Listed there aren’t that many more options, so we may have to take on the boys – there’s a novice chase over two miles at Kempton over Christmas, so we could look at that.
“I was very pleased with how she settled today. If something wanted to take her on now, we could sit in.”
Yala Enki (20-1) was a notable winner for Charlie Deutsch in the Anne Duchess Of Westminster Memorial Handicap Chase by the narrowest of margins from Sir Mangan.
It was a first success for Deutsch since his release from prison for drink driving.
“It’s great for Charlie, his owners and for us, we were convinced it would be too much of a speed test for him today,” said Williams.
“I’m delighted to see him win like that, I thought it was a dead-heat. He’s been a smashing horse.
“He’s in the Ladbrokes Trophy but I’m not sure about that, we’re very much looking at the Welsh National, this side of the New Year.”