Meade expects Monksland improvement

Trainer Noel Meade expects Monksland to strip fitter for the run as he makes his first appearance in eight months at Galway on Tuesday.

Monksland runs on Tuesday

The high-class hurdler made a successful start to his career over fences at Gowran Park last November before placing in three consecutive Grade One novice events during the winter.

He has not been seen in competitive action since chasing home Outlander in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February and makes his comeback against just three opponents in the Ryans Cleaning Chase at Ballybrit.

Meade is pleased with his nine-year-old's condition, but views the two-and-three-quarter-mile contest as a prep run for either the Champion Chase or the Powers Irish Whiskey Chase at Down Royal on November 5.

Meade said: "It will be good to get him back and I'm just hoping the ground is easy enough.

"He isn't that wound up, to be honest, but we need to get him ready for the north (Down Royal).

"There's a few race-fit horses in against him, so it's a tough enough ask, but we're happy with him and we've a nice bit done.

"He'll be entered in both races (at Down Royal). I think three miles suits him well."

Henry de Bromhead's runaway Downpatrick scorer Marinero and the Gordon Elliott-trained Captain Von Trappe, a previous course and distance winner, both represent Gigginstown House Stud.

John Ryan's likely outsider Mic Milano completes the quartet.

Elsewhere on an interesting card Joseph O'Brien's dual bumper winner Aspen Colorado bids to make it two from two over obstacles in the Galway City & Salthill Publicans Rated Novice Hurdle.

Diamond King, winner of the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival last season, makes his fencing debut in the Beginners Chase.

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