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."