Benefficient hands Cooper maiden Festival success
Thursday 14 March 2013
1 Benefficient (B J Cooper) 20-1
2 Dynaste (T Scudamore) 11-8 Fav
3 Changing Times (S Twiston-Davies) 100-1
By Geoffrey Riddle
Jockey Bryan Cooper registered his maiden Festival success on Thursday when Benefficient caused an upset for trainer Tony Martin in the Jewson Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.
Cooper had Benefficient placed prominently throughout and although he was harried by Tom Scudamore aboard 11-8 favourite Dynaste, the outsider stuck on to win by three and a quarter lengths.
Dynaste had no more to give and only just stayed on to hold off 100-1 shot Changing Times under Sam Twiston-Davies.
“It felt great, you dream of it from when you are small and today was the day,” a the jubilant 20-year-old told Racing UK.
“He jumped great, I got to ride my own race and they didn’t take me on,
“He was very good when he winged the last and he galloped all the way to the line.
“The ground helped him as he has been running on heavy ground all winter and the better ground brought him on.
“He gave me my first Grade one winner so it’s great to win on him at the festival.”
Cooper was positive from the off on his mount, disputing the early pace with Molotof before Dynaste started to make progress six fences from home.
Benefficient's challenge looked to be over as Dynaste assumed control at the top of the hill with Captain Conan trying to go along with him while Marito made stealthy progress in behind.
As a measure of how poorly Benefficient appeared to be going, in-running punters matched Dynaste at a low of 1.3, while Captain Conan also reached 1.36 after Marito met the penultimate fence all wrong and crashed out.
Cooper kept his composure, however, switching back to challenge up the inside and edged in front at the final fence before his mount stayed on powerfully.
Cooper had finished second on Lyreen Legend in the Wednesday’s RSA Chase behind Davy Russell on Lord Windermere and his father, Tommy, the trainer of Forpadydeplasterer, was on hand to explain what the win meant to his son.
“He has been knocking on the door and he has been crying out for this,” Cooper senior said.
“Davy beat him yesterday and Bryan tapped him with the stick and said, ‘well done.’ Davy said, ‘you will have your turn.’ It’s magical.”
“Going down to the last it was do or die.”
Benefficient had been running on heavy ground in Ireland for much of the season, but showed a glimpse of his talent when giving Oscars Well a sound thrashing at Leopardstown in January.
Despite the double-figure starting price, Martin was always confident that both horse and jockey would put in a good performance.
“That’s what it is all about; it’s why you get up in the morning,” Martin said.
“I thought he wouldn’t be out of the first three but we were obviously afraid of Dynaste.
“Our jockey was excellent, he jumped well and got the run of the race
“Byran is fantastic, there is Ruby [Walsh], Barry [Geraghty], [Paul] Carberry and [Tony] McCoy but this lad is coming up. He will be here when they are all gone.”