Monbeg Worldwide can get back on track for Elliott
The highly-regarded youngster Monbeg Worldwide can bounce back from his first defeat on a racecourse in today's opener at Clonmel.
A winner between the flags before rattling off a hat-trick in bumpers, the Michael O'Leary-owned gelding let down favourite backers when Gordon Elliott's inmate had to settle for second to the more experienced Jetz at Fairyhouse on his debut over hurdles.
However, with the winner going on to take second in the "Monksfield" Novice Hurdle behind Elliott's leading novice Samcro, that form looks very solid and Monbeg Worldwide, the mount of Jack Kennedy, should have little difficulty obliging in the opening two-mile maiden hurdle.
Elliott and Kennedy will also fancy their chances of landing the featured Kilsheelan Hurdle with Taglitelle but this one might have not have enough pace to cope with the Willie Mullins-trained Coquin Mans.
Paul Townend's mount struck a couple of times over three miles in the summer, as well as registering a Flat success, and since then he has turned in some respectable efforts over the minimum trip. He got closest to Jezki in the Istabraq Hurdle before going on to chase home his classy stablemate Melon in the Grade Two WKD Hurdle at Down Royal.
Elliott runs two, Robin Des Mana and Steamboat Quay, in the novice chase, but a confident vote goes to Henry de Bromhead's consistent Monbeg Chit Chat.
Across the Irish Sea yesterday, Jamie Osborne said he was "hugely relieved" at seeing Toast Of New York (2/1) make a winning return at Lingfield after three years off the track. The six-year-old entire had not been seen since being beaten by a nose in the Breeders' Cup Classic in November 2014, an absence of 1,130 days during which time he had a spell at stud in Qatar.
Toast Of New York was initially retired following a tendon injury when being prepared for the Dubai World Cup of 2015, meaning his new owners, Al Shaqab Racing, had never seen him carry their colours.
"I'm just hugely relieved. I was in unknown territory really, trying to bring a horse back from that length of absence," said Osborne.
Ridden for the first time in a race by Frankie Dettori, he actually threw the Italian off on the way to the start despite wearing a hood, suggesting he was feeling very well in himself.
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on January 27 has been mooted as an option.