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Benefficient set to tackle Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham Festival

Tony Martin looks set to run Benefficient in the Ryanair Chase rather than Champion Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

The handler is delighted with his stable star’s condition ahead of his trip to Prestbury Park and he is full of confidence ahead of his return to HQ.

The eight-year-old bagged the third Grade One success of his career over Christmas, and is prominent in the betting for both Cheltenham races next week, having landed the Jewson Novices' Chase over two and a half miles 12 months ago.

Martin explained: "I'm happy with him and am very keen to go to the Ryanair, I don't really want to come down in trip with him. Two-miles-five round Cheltenham is ideal.

"He'd want three miles on an easy track and I'd rather go for the race that suits him."

Meanwhile, Martin is keeping his options open for Irish Arkle fourth Ted Veale and the handler added: "He wouldn't run if the ground is heavy at all. If it was yielding or good ground he'd definitely run and I'm leaning towards going for the Arkle with him.

"He has 146 in the handicap so he might as well go for the Arkle.

"He'd improve for good ground and he's got plenty of experience going there."

In other news, Willie Mullins confirmed that Annie Power will line up in the World Hurdle at this year’s meeting. 

Mullins said: "All being well, and if everything goes right, Ruby will probably ride Hurricane Fly in the Champion, Quevega in the mares' race and Annie Power in the stayers' (World Hurdle).

"We've had a good chat with the owners and at that the moment that's the way it looks, they are all happy on that score."


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Benefficient set to tackle Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham Festival

Tony Martin looks set to run Benefficient in the Ryanair Chase rather than Champion Chase at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

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