Sandy Thomson has a bet365 Morebattle Hurdle double top of his wish list for Benson having seen the nine-year-old return to the winner’s enclosure at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day.
Benson had kicked off 2023 with an 11-length victory over Stuart Crawford’s Holmes St Georges at the Edinburgh track and returned to the same race 12 months later for a repeat in the Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle, this time beating the Irish raider by just one length off an 8lb higher mark.
From Musselburgh, Thomson’s stable star went straight to Kelso for the Morebattle in 2023, where he registered a famous local victory for Borders-based Thomson when downing Lorna Fowler’s Colonel Mustard.
Benson could follow the same route once again, although his handler is considering a return to Musselburgh for their Scottish Cheltenham Trials weekend, such is his stellar record at the track.
“It was a great performance and I was very happy with him before the race, he just seemed to have come to himself,” said Thomson.
“That’s what Benson does. He has been called a lot of names in the past but he stuck his neck out and was almost going away again at the line.
“We’ll obviously go for the Morebattle, but whether he goes to Cheltenham Trials Day at Musselburgh in a month or so, I don’t know. Obviously they are spaced quite nicely apart.
“The Morebattle is top of the list, but there is some quite nice prize-money at Musselburgh. If he went and won at Musselburgh he would go up (in the ratings) again, but we will see what the handicapper does and take it from there.”
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