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Monksland and Paul Carberry finish strongest for victory at Leopardstown

Updated: Friday, 28 Dec 2012 14:40 | Comments

Paul Carberry onboard Monksland came all the way through the field on the rails to land the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle
Paul Carberry onboard Monksland came all the way through the field on the rails to land the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle

Monksland gained his revenge over Zaidpour with a cosy success in the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle.

Noel Meade's five-year-old (11-4) overturned a defeat in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse with the help of a 2lb pull over Willie Mullins' runner.

Whatuthink set out to make all the running and held a big advantage at one stage.

However, he was swallowed up before the final flight where Zaidpour jumped into the lead, but Paul Carberry delivered Monksland with a perfectly timed challenge on the far side to swoop for a two-and-a-half-length verdict.

Meade said: "Paul said he was struggling in the ground, but he just left him alone and gave him that half a furlong for a breather.

"He got a bit of air back into his lungs, gave him a bit of a break and was able to come home. It worked out really well for him.

"He was struggling on it so I sat up on him a bit and he got a second wind and did very well to get up. He's a class horse." - Carberry

"I didn't really know if he would stay (three miles), but sometimes with those horses that win bumpers you usually find they stay really well. He never lets you down."

Bookmaker reaction to his chance in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, which will be minus Big Buck's this season, was swift, with William Hill halving Monksland in price from 16-1 to 8-1.

Meade said: "The World Hurdle is open enough now, but we'll live for today. He's a very young horse, he's only five and he's very easy to train.

"He had a hard race today and might not run before Cheltenham."

Carberry said: "He wasn't mad about the ground. It's a bit sticky. He was struggling on it so I sat up on him a bit and he got a second wind and did very well to get up. He's a class horse. That's the worst the ground has been all week, very gluey."

Earlier, Flying Light (10-1) gained a narrow success in an open race for the Mongey Communications Novice Handicap Hurdle.

Andrew McNamara brought John Queally's charge through a crowd of horses to lead at the final flight and staved off Grange, who battled all the way to the line and was only a neck down.

"I've ridden him plenty of times before and even though he has won he never gave me the feel he gave me today," McNamara said.

"From the word go he was alive and well in himself. It was his first time in blinkers so that may have made the difference."

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