Willie Mullins has scrapped plans to run Benie Des Dieux at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

The trainer says the ten-year-old has not been showing the right signs ahead of the Mares’ Murdle.

Bookmakers had her priced up at around 5-2 for the contest on the opening day, which she runs in regularly – and won it three years ago.

The daughter of Great Pretender fell at the final flight in the 2019 race, when racing three lengths clear under Ruby Walsh.

And last March, Benie Des Dieux ended up finishing a half-length second to Honeysuckle, a mare who has retained her unbeaten record this season.

Mullins said in a statement: “Benie Des Dieux hasn’t been pleasing me in our quest to get her to Cheltenham and regrettably we have had to make the decision to withdraw her from the Festival.



Benie Des Dieux (left) and Chacun Pour Soi on the gallops at Cheltenham in March 2020

“I’ll try to get her to make Punchestown, but we’ll have to see how things go.

“It’s very disappointing for everyone as we thought she would make it to Cheltenham, but unfortunately time just ran out.”

Mullins’ Concertista is Paddy Power’s 6-5 favourite for the Mares’ Hurdle on March 16.





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