Horses To Follow » *Mon Lino

Mon Lino

Mon Lino doesn’t have too many secrets from anybody at this stage, but there could still be a big handicap chase in him on Saturday’s evidence. He was the only horse who got into the Leinster National from the rear, and he ran on well to finish a close-up third. It was a race in which it was probably an advantage to race handily. The other three horses who, with him, filled the first four places, Cap York, Cheb De Kerviniou and General Principle, raced in the first three positions from early, and the four of them finished clear of their rivals.

It was a fine performance by Mon Lino. Paul Nolan’s horse was settled into a nice rhythm at the back of the field by Niall Madden. Third last jumping the final fence on the first circuit, and still third last jumping the sixth last fence, he made nice ground around the outside at the end of the back straight. He travelled well into the home straight just behind the leaders and, nursed into it by his rider, he appeared to be travelling best at the second last fence. They just got away from him a little at the last, but he kept on well up the run-in to take third place in front of General Principle.

JP McManus’ horse had run disappointingly in the Punchestown Grand National Trial on his previous run, but he had run really well in the Porterstown Chase on his run prior to that, and this was probably a step up on that run. He is not rated highly enough to get into the Irish National, but he will be of interest in another staying handicap chase. The three-mile-six-furlong handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival could be a good target for him now.

Naas, 8th March 2020