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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Monksland debut over fences a success

Monksland definitely frightened his connections and backers by hitting the first fence in the straight with a circuit to go, but it was a case of all's well that ends well for Sean Flanagan's mount in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase at Gowran.

The big three came to the fore as things got serious from before the straight - it was 12/1 bar Monksland, Roi Des Francs and Noble Endeavor.

However Monksland showed his undoubted class on chase debut to pretty convincingly gain the day by a length and a half and seven and a half lengths from Roi Des Francs and Noble Endeavor.

"We said we'd take our chance over fences and see how it goes and if it didn't work out we could go back to hurdling," said winning trainer Noel Meade.

"His schooling went great and he has spent half his time swimming as well. When he jumped he jumped well.

"We thought with the Grade 1 at Christmas he might struggle but if he took to jumping fences you wouldn't know where he could go.

"You'd have to be happy with his first run over fences. He did run in a point-to-point but that was his first chase.

"He was good other than the second last first time when Sean did well to stay with him.

"That's his first winner for me and I'm delighted for him. I've been very pleased with what he's been doing. He has great hands and horses jump great for him. 

"He comes in to ride a couple of mornings and does a lot of schooling. He's a really nice lad too."