Day one of the Punchestown Festival provides a mouth-watering menu of top class jumping.
For our nap we will wait for the Grade 1 3m novice chase (1840), and the Henry de Bromhead trained Monalee.
He came into the season as one of the leading Irish novices but blotted the copybook with an uncharacteristic fall half way through the big novice event at Leopardstown over Christmas.
He put that behind him when aggressively ridden to win the 2m4f Flogas Chase at the Dublin Festival- on which form he holds today’s opponents Al Boum Photo (and by extension Shattered Love), Invitation Only, Rathvinden, Dounikos and The Storyteller.
His runner up effort in the RSA at Cheltenham was excellent. There was no disgrace in failing to handle the brilliant Presenting Percy that day, but he was far too good for the rest.
He looked a little weary at the end on that stiff track after trying to chase Percy. These easier conditions should help and we are being offered a near 2/1 that he can simply confirm previous form. Not s bad place to start a hectic week.
Recommendation: Monalee, (1840 Punchestown), 1pt win, 15/8 generally available
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