Moore keen to see Benatar in action
GARY Moore is looking forward to seeing Benatar begin his second season over fences at Newton Abbot this afternoon.
The six-year-old made a bright start to his opening campaign over the bigger obstacles, winning his first three races before ending with a fine third to Shattered Love in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
Moore reports Benatar to have summered well and ready to resume operations in the Weatherbys Racing Bank Intermediate Chase.
“He’s done pretty well. I couldn’t be more pleased with him and I’m looking forward to seeing him out,” said the West Sussex handler.
“He seems in good shape. He’s not very well in with one or two of the others, but you have to start some- where. I just hope they get the rain that’s expected.”
An intriguing six-runner contest, over two miles five furlongs, includes Paul Nicholls’ Dolos and the Nick Williams-trained Le Rocher.
Elsewhere on the card, Stuart Edmunds is hoping for no more hold-ups with the weather as he looks to give Maria’s Benefit her debut over fences. The Newport Pagnell trainer took the Grade Twowinning hurdler out of her intended seasonal reappearance at Warwick last week because there was ‘firm’ in the going description.
His attention now turns to the Devon venue, where conditions are expected to be suitable for Maria’s Benefit to take on three rivals in the Thank You To All Our Customers This Season Novices’ Chase.
“She’s in good form. As long as there’s no good to firm in it, she’ll run,” said Edmunds. “I’ve spoken to the clerk of the course and he’s producing good ground. If they got the rain it would be softer, which wouldn’t matter to her. She normally improves for her first run back. We’ve done enough work. I just want to get her going now.”
Flying Tiger, from the Williams stable, already has experience over fences, having finished second on this track three weeks ago. The Nicholls-trained Mont Des Avaloirs and Nicky Henderson’s Lough Derg Spirit make up the quartet.