Grade 2 Success For Foot Perfect Monalee
An impressive round of jumping saw Monalee (8g Milan - Tempest Belle, by Glacial Storm) run out a comfortable winner of the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday.
Dropping back to two and a half miles, the Henry de Bromhead-trained bay was sent off the even-money favourite of a field of four. Making all under Rachael Blackmore, he began to increase his advantage from halfway. Anibale Fly made a challenge at the third last, but Monalee was never for heading, staying on well on the run-in to beat his aforementioned rival by two lengths, with a further 25 lengths back to the third horse.
Monalee is now Cheltenham-bound, according to De Bromhead, who said, “He jumped brilliantly and Rachael gave him a super ride. He was giving 7lb to a couple so it was a good effort. Once he comes out of this okay Cheltenham will be next. Whether it will be the Gold Cup or the Ryanair is a decision we'll make much nearer the time.”
Saturday marked a third Graded victory for Monalee, who achieved top-level success in the Flogas Novice Chase last season. The Barry Moloney-owned horse gained his first victory between the flags when winning his debut for Kevin O’Sullivan at Templenacarriga. Bred by Aidan Aherne, he is out of an unraced half-sister to Thyestes Chase winner Be My Belle and Grade 2 hurdle winner Rose Of Inchiquin, herself the dam of Irish Gold cup runner-up Empire Of Dirt (Westerner).