Monksland close to return

Noel Meade still hopes to get Monksland back on the track by Christmas at the latest after a near two-year lay-off.

The seven-year-old has been sidelined since winning the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in December 2012 and the big festival meeting there could be his starting point.

Meade wanted to have the three-time Grade Two winner ready to make his comeback in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse at the end of November but faces a race against time following a setback.

“Monksland has been held up a bit with kissing spines, and might not be ready for the Hatton’s Grace,” said the Navan trainer.

“If not we’ll wait for Leopardstown at Christmas.”

However, Meade reports Apache Stronghold to be on course for the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase on the same card.

“Apache Stronghold worked well this morning and all going well he’ll go for the Drinmore Novice Chase,” he said.


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