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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL REWIND: Benie Des Dieux sees off hot-favourite Apples Jade

French Champion Hurdle victor Benie Des Dieux secured a Festival success in Gloucestershire three years ago

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2EGX0P2 Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 13, 2018 Benie Des Dieux ridden by Ruby Walsh during the 16:10 OLBG Mares' Hurdle Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Benie Des Dieux saw off all-comers in the 2018 Mares’ Hurdle under Ruby Walsh on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

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Willie Mullins’ superstar, who has recently been retired, won on her first appearance at Prestbury Park to see off Alan King’s Midnight Tour and the 1/2 banker for many, Apples Jade, in what proved to be the penultimate Cheltenham winner for all-time leading pilot Walsh.

WATCH: BENIE DES DIEUX WINS THE 2018 MARES HURDLE [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The daughter of Great Pretender also won the Grade 1 Grande Course De Haies D’auteuil Hurdle, which takes place this weekend.

Trainer Willie Mullins after Turban won the Underwriting Exchange Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Willie Mullins’ French raid paid off as Benie Des Dieux won the Grade 1 French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil
This arrived after her final flight tumble at the Festival with a repeat of the Grade 1 Mares' feature at her mercy in 2019, but she landed a top-level success at Punchestown before her Parisian exploits at 3-1 for Paul Townend.

WATCH: THE 2019 RENEWAL OF THE FRENCH CHAMPION HURDLE GOES TO BENIE DES DIEUX [CREDIT: AT THE RACES]

Fellow Closutton stable-mate's Bapaume, Mr Adjudicator, Yorkhill and Melon also contested in the race, ran over a trip of just under three miles and two furlongs.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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