Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Meade team headed by Monksland

Monksland, right, wins the Christmas Hurdle
Monksland, right, wins the Christmas Hurdle

Monksland will head Noel Meade's team for the Cheltenham Festival when he lines up for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on Thursday week.

The County Meath handler reports the preparation for the stayers' championship to have gone well since the six-year-old won the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in December.

"Everything's OK with him and it's all gone to plan so far. We'll have to cope with whatever the ground is. I'm more worried about getting there than the ground," said Meade.

The handler will have at least three other runners at jumps racing's premier fixture.

"I'm going to run Road To Riches in the Albert Bartlett, Busty Brown probably in the same race, and Il Fenomeno in the County Hurdle," he went on.

One of Meade's stable stars who will not be travelling across the Irish Sea next week is Texas Jack.

He will bypass the Jewson Novices' Chase and may wait for the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse on March 31, although Meade has given him an entry at Naas on Sunday.

"He's staying at home. I think we will be going for the Powers Gold Cup. We did enter him on Sunday in a Grade Three race at Naas, but he probably won't run until the Powers Gold Cup," said the trainer.

"I haven't made my mind up about it yet."

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