Beat That takes Novice Hurdle for Henderson

Wiltshire Times: Lambourn trainer Nick Henderson Lambourn trainer Nick Henderson

Beat That showed guts and class in equal measure to claim the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

An 11-8 favourite following an impressive display on his first start over three miles at Aintree, the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old travelled powerfully in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Ruby Walsh was far more animated aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Don Poli at the top of the home straight, but stuck to his guns to make a race of it.

The two touched down almost as one after jumping the final flight, but Beat That won the argument by three-quarters of a length.

Henderson has the summer to consider whether his charge should remain over hurdles next season or pursue a career over fences.

He said: “Barry said he wasn’t quite as fresh as he felt at Aintree, but that was a tough race.

“He’s a very progressive horse.

“He missed Cheltenham, went to Aintree and is a very exciting one to put away over the summer to think about what we're going to do.

“He and Whisper are the two that look like chasers, but the three-mile (hurdle) division is wide open and we do have to think about whether one stays over hurdles for another season.

“Which one does, I don’t know.”

Geraghty said: “He’s a big, weak horse and I didn't want to get into a scrap too soon.

“He should be a real horse next year.”

Meanwhile, Willie Mullins’ Boston Bob clinched the Punchestown Gold Cup.

The 5-2 favourite saw off the challenge of First Lieutenant and Henderson’s Long Run who finished second and third respectively.

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