During the OLBG Mares' Hurdle, Ruby Walsh drove up the famous hill aboard Benie Des Dieux today to land his ninth victory in 11 years for that particular race at Cheltenham.
The 9-2 horse turned over favourite and last year's winner, Apple's Jade. As they turned for home Jack Kennedy looked to be traveling well but Benie Des Dieux responded to Walsh's urges and romped home to land Mullins and Walsh second winner of the day.
Apple's Jade finished out of the first two for the first time today @CheltenhamRaces #TheFestival
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— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) March 13, 2018
However, the jockey was subsequently penalised for excessive use of the whip and will now have to serve a two-day ban. That punishment will not have to be served until March 27 and 28, which means Walsh will be free to carry on at the festival.
R5 @CheltenhamRaces: Ruby Walsh suspended for two days for using his whip above the permitted level on the winner, BENIE DES DIEUX (FR) ➡️https://t.co/HLE8AVNIbk
— BHA Stewards (@BHAStewards) March 13, 2018
Walsh also endured a fall at the end of the day, but will look to return to winning ways tomorrow when he gets underway with Next Destination in the Novice’s Hurdle at 1.30pm.