Trainer Noel Meade appears to have another top class young prospect in his care. Monksland (IRE), a son of Beneficial, looked very smart when winning the Grade 2 Slaney Novice Hurdle at Naas on Sunday. The 5yo ranged up alongside the favourite Dedigout approaching the last and bounded clear up the run in with jockey Paul Carberry barely moving a muscle. It was a visually impressive performance and Noel Meade was far from surprised with the outcome saying; “I thought he’d win today - I think he’s very good. He did everything right and jumped well. I hope he’s good enough for the Neptune (at Cheltenham) that’s the plan.”
Monksland runs in the colours of Patricia Hunt and is now unbeaten in three runs on the racecourse. He should probably have won his only point to point outing but was hampered and forced off the track when holding every chance in a 4yo maiden at Ballysteen last May. He is another top prospect to pass through the hands of Andy Slattery who specialises in preparing top class prospects and educating them through the Irish point to point field. Cooldine and Quel Esprit are just two other examples of such horses and Monksland looks right up there with the best of them. He was bred by Con Troy who sold him as a foal in Tattersalls Ireland for €5,200 to Peter Quinlan. The victory of Monksland propelled his sire Beneficial to the top of the leading NH sires list, giving him a slender lead over King’s Theatre. Beneficial stands at Knock House Stud and has been represented this season by other stars such as Mount Benbulben and Realt Dubh.