Racing: Mullins has Our Ben tuned to the minute
Wednesday 15 March 2006
It has been clear for some time that a career best can be expected from OUR BEN (nap 2.35) in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase. Willie Mullins is a master in getting a horse to peak for Cheltenham and will have had this race in mind since Our Ben finished strongly for third over hurdles here last year. He hit a flat spot before rallying that day and the extra distance should enable him to outstay Commercial Flyer.
Last year Royal Paradise (next best 4.00) was sent off favourite for the Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle but finished only seventh. He was found to have bled, and made no show in three top hurdles in the autumn, but his absence since can work in his favour in the Coral Cup. Horses with a history of bleeding are best caught after a break and he looks well treated on novice form.
Mullins runs four in defence of a formidable record in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, but Lord Over (5.20) represents better value. He was returning from a long break when beaten at Naas last month.
Another Rum (4.40) was 40-1 when he won the four-miler here last year but proved that to be no fluke when third in the Scottish National. He runs off the same mark in the Kim Muir.
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