De Bromhead ponders Monalee options

Updated: 28/02/2024

Trainer Henry de Bromhead says he is yet to decide whether Monalee (5/1 – Ryanair Chase Outright) will compete for the Cheltenham Gold Cup or Ryanair Chase at Prestbury Park next month.

Monalee’s first outing of 2019 ended in victory at Gowran Park on Saturday in the Red Mills Chase and connections are now mulling over which prestigious Cheltenham race he will be going for.

The eight-year-old gelding got the better of Anibale Fly by two lengths in Ireland over the weekend and there is a real optimism the Barry Maloney-owned charge will go well at Prestbury Park next month.

Being entered into the Gold Cup would be a real step-up for Monalee, who is yet to win at further than two miles five furlongs over fences under rules, and that is why the Ryanair Chase may appeal more as it is just two miles five furlongs in distance.

However, despite the feature race at Cheltenham nearly a mile further, De Bromhead says he is yet to choose which title Monalee will be attempting to go for.

“I don’t know yet – and I’d say it’s 50-50 at the moment,” said the County Waterford trainer. “He’s good, not a bother on him, and he’s in great form.

“I thought he was good, and I was delighted with him.”

The Willie Mullins-trained Min, who is on a two-race winning streak after victories at Punchestown and Leopardstown, is the pre-race favourite for the Ryanair Chase at 4/1.

Monalee is currently priced 20/1 to win the Gold Cup, with Presenting Percy, who recently landing a victory at Gowran Park, leading the betting at 3/1.

Odds subject to change

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