Monksland set for Clonmel Oil
Noel Meade is hoping Monksland can get back on track from a fall on his latest start when he lines up for the Clonmel Oil Chase at the County Tipperary course on Thursday.
Monksland lines up at Clonmel on Thursday
There was still all to play for when the nine-year-old came down at the 13th fence in the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal, won by Valseur Lido, earlier this month.
None the worse for the tumble, Monksland has schooled well at home in the interim, persuading connections to return him to the fray.
Monksland still holds an entry in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday week and Meade will reassess plans following this test.
"He's been fine since he fell and he has schooled well twice since," said the County Meath handler, who won this race for a third time when Road To Riches was successful 12 months ago.
"It was just a suitable race. We're still tossing it up here whether we might have a go at the Hennessy with him or not, but it would be hard to run him in that off a fall.
"We're going to run and we'll see what plans we'll make after that."
Outlander, who defeated Monksland at Leopardstown in February, reopposes and is accompanied by his Gordon Elliott-trained stablemate Clarcam.
Completing a seven-strong field are Henry de Bromhead's Days Hotel, the Willie Mullins-trained Alelchi Inois, John Ryan's Draycott Place and Dromnea from Mouse Morris' stable.
Alelchi Inois, last seen finishing third in a Grade One in Italy in September, is the highest-rated horse in the line-up, but Mullins is wary of conditions becoming too demanding.
He said: "Alelchi Inois is fit and well but if the rain arrives it would really affect his chance."