Charlie Longsdon’s decision to by-pass the Cheltenham Festival with Bentelimar paid off when he landed the spoils on the opening day of the Randox Health Grand National meeting.
The nine-year-old won Thursday’s Grade 3 Zut Media Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree under a great ride from Jonathan Burke for the Chipping Norton handler.
Bentelimar was prominent throughout the two mile race on the Mildmay course and tracked the leader three out. He hit the front two out and was ridden clear before the final fence and driven out up the run-in to hold off the Nicky Henderson-trained Theival.
Bentelimar has now won seven times from 38 starts but this was his first win for the Hull Farm handler since arriving from Ireland in late 2017 although he had been placed in three previous runs for Longsdon.