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Monalee glee for Henry de Bromhead at Leopardstown

Sun 4 Feb 2018

Monalee put in a sparkling display of jumping to win the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Henry de Bromhead's 11-4 joint-favourite had fallen on his previous outing over Christmas but met nearly every fence on a perfect stride.

Given a bold ride by Noel Fehily, there were plenty in with chances approaching the last but not Sutton Place, who made a bad mistake down the back straight and was pulled up.

Monalee was almost joined at the final obstacle by Invitation Only, but Monalee's proven stamina came to the fore and he eventually ran out a determined three-quarter-length winner.

Al Boum Photo made late gains to claim second ahead of Invitation Only.

Monalee Ltown 11 Monalee, far right, leads a cluster of rivals at the final fence (PA)

De Bromhead said: "Delighted, absolutely delighted with that. He jumped brilliant, Noel was fantastic on him and I'm just delighted.

"He has booked his passage to Cheltenham now and hopefully he'll come out if it OK and we'll rock on."

Fehily said: "It's tough to make all (the running) but he jumped brilliant and everything went smoothly so it was great.

"He's obviously got loads of class, it's unfortunate what happened the last day but he's a very good jumper and he's a high-class horse."

RaceBets make the winner 4-1 second favourite behind Presenting Percy (3-1) for the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase.

Willie Mullins was responsible for the next two horses home, and said: "Al Boum Photo was very good. Invitation Only made a mistake four from home and that didn't help but it was a great run.

"Koshari (who was pulled up) just didn't jump well at that level. We'll look at the JLT and the RSA for all of them."

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