Saturday 17 March 2018

Monksland targeting winning return over Thurles hurdles

Paul Carberry. Photo: Sportsfile
Paul Carberry. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Monksland warmed up for the season ahead when giving old partner Paul Carberry a good spin in a charity race last week and now bids to return to winning ways over hurdles at Thurles.

Plenty of familiar names line up in the He'llberemembered Hurdle and Noel Meade's charge should be wound up after his third-placed effort behind Pallasator at Punchestown in the John Shortt Legends Race.

The Beneficial gelding switched back to hurdles last season after suffering some jumping issues over fences and showed he's no back number with a cracking run to finish fourth in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.

Like all bar one of his rivals, he carries no penalties in this two-mile-six-furlong conditions hurdle as his last win over timber came before May 1, 2016.

Cantlow looks an interesting rival as he presumably warms up for another campaign in cross-country events.

Enda Bolger's charge was well held over timber at Galway last season when using a similar tactic before his attentions switched to his main job.

Gordon Elliott saddles two runners in the race and both deserve respect.

Lieutenant Colonel tries his hand over hurdles again after finishing well beaten on his return to action in a chase at Limerick earlier this month.

The Kayf Tara gelding is a dual Grade One winner over timber and has a current rating just 2lb below Monksland over hurdles.

Charmix, the other Elliott runner, is an interesting contender on his first start for the yard. He showed some smart form as a novice chaser for Harry Fry in England last term.

Earlier on the card, smart bumper performer Glens Harmony makes her debut over jumps in the Thurles Mares Maiden Hurdle.

Fayonagh put down

Champion Bumper winner Fayonagh has been put down after breaking a hind leg on the gallops yesterday.

The Gordon Elliott-trained mare, who only suffered one defeat in her six races, was working under Davy Russell when the accident occurred.

She had made a successful hurdling debut recently and was expected to take high rank among the novices this season.

Irish Independent

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