Monksland: “I think the three miles at Down Royal will suit him better”
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
NOEL MEADE’S Monksland is all set for next weekend’s JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal, with the trainer expecting a massive improvement from his reappearance win at Galway earlier this month.
Monksland won the Ryans Cleaning Chase by a head from the Henry de Bromhead-trained even-money favourite Marinero, with the pair pulling ten lengths clear of the third, and in a stable tour in Thursday’s Racing Post Meade revealed Monksland had only done one serious piece of work before that victory.
“I was very happy with him at Galway and that was a great way to start the season,” said Meade of the injury-prone nine-year-old. “He was swimming all last week and we’re going for next Saturday’s JNwine.com Champion Chase with him next.
“Despite the fact he’s a second-season chaser, I think the three miles at Down Royal will suit him better. He’s like china, but touch wood he’s in good shape and should improve loads for that Galway run as he’d only done one serious piece of work beforehand.”
Road To Riches should be back in time for Lexus
Meade also had an update on Road To Riches, third in the Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase at the last two Cheltenham Festivals. He was beaten by Ballycasey in the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase earlier this month after which Meade reported he needed an operation.
“He had an operation on a kissing spine and is recuperating at the moment. He’s back walking and should be ready for Christmas when we’ll be aiming him at the Lexus Chase.
“I’m hopeful we can get him back and I think he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the staying-chase ranks.”
Read the full Noel Meade stable tour and find out which horse he believes “could go right to the top over fences” in Thursday’s Racing Post – available on iPad
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