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Monksland - Naas - 08.01.2012

Monksland strolls to Grade 2 victory at Naas

Report: Naas, Sunday

Slaney Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m4f, 5yo+

TRAINER Noel Meade could have another star hurdler in his care after Monksland eased to victory in the Grade 2 Slaney Novice Hurdle on Sunday.

The 6-1 winner was given a typically cool ride by Paul Carberry and made good late progress to stroll past Lyreen Legend, who returned at 15-8.

Dedigout, the 11-10 favourite, finished third after tracking the early pace set by Mart Lane.

Owned by Patricia Hunt, Monksland is now two from two over hurdles, although that record could come under threat in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Paddy Power made him 25-1 for the festival race and Meade, who has excelled with classy hurdlers Harchibald and Go Native in the past, said: "I thought he'd win today - I think he's very good.

"He did everything right and jumped well. I hope he'sgood enough for the Neptune - that's the plan."

Later in the day, firm spokesman Paddy Power said: "We were happy to introduce Monksland at 25-1 for the Neptune after his Naas win today - and so were his supporters. We've laid him well at 25s and have had to cut him to 20-1 by this evening."

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