Although Benefficient, a shock Grade 1 winner over hurdles here last February, is doing well over fences he was well and truly put in his place by ARVIKA LIGEONNIERE here on St Stephen's Day and is most unlikely to reverse the form barring accidents. The winner made all for a convincing success from today's rival Oscars Well, who tried his best to get on terms but could never quite manage to get there and was beaten just over 2l. The winner jumped to the right on a couple of occasions which allowed the runner-up to get so close and there may not be too much between them again though it has to be Willie Mullins charge who gets the vote to land his third successive Grade 1 over fences.
Arvika Ligeonniere (FR) 9-10fav (11-12) Made all, clear from 3rd, jumped right and slight mistake 3 out, jumped right again last, soon ridden and reduced advantage, stayed on under pressure, always holding chasing pair, won at Leopardstown 2m 1f nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec beating Oscars Well (11-12) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Benefficient (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up, 4th from 5 out, no extra from after 2 out, 4th of 5, 16l behind Arvika Ligeonniere (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
Oscars Well (IRE) 11-8 (11-12) Tracked leaders in moderate 3rd, ridden from 2 out, closer 2nd after last, stayed on under pressure without threatening winner, 2nd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Arvika Ligeonniere (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.