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Monalee in good shape ahead of Douvan clash in the Clonmel Oil Chase

, Monalee in good shape ahead of Douvan clash in the Clonmel Oil Chase

SLICK chaser Monalee is on course for a heavyweight clash in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

Henry De Bromhead’s eight-year-old is reportedly in good shape as he prepares to lock horns with the returning Douvan on Thursday.

Monalee (right) is in good shape ahead of his comeback at Clonmel

The Grade 1 winner is the 11-10 jolly with William Hill for the 75,000 contest ahead of Douvan at 5-2, with Peregrine Run (5-1), Tout Est Permis (7-1) and Jett (10-1) also in the line-up.

He turned in an uncharacteristically sloppy display in the Punchestown Gold Cup when last sighted in May.

He was pulled up before the fourth last by jockey Rachael Blackmore, but De Bromhead is confident Monalee is in fine fettle ahead of his reappearance.

He told Sun Racing: “He’s in very good form and we are happy with him and how he is working.

“This race looks a good starting point for him, we said a while ago this would be the aim first time out and it will be nice to get him going again.

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“We will see how tomorrow goes and we will map future targets out from there.

“I would have thought he would be aimed at most of the big 2m4f-3m races this season.

“He has the entry in the King George which gives us the option if we want to go down that route.”

De Bromhead also provided an update on several of his other stable stars, including Cheltenham Festival hero Minella Indo.

He sprung a 33-1 surprise in the Albert Bartlett in March before following up at the Punchestown Festival, and he will embark on his novice chasing campaign in the coming weeks.

De Bromhead said: “We are hoping to get him going over fences in the next few weeks. There is a beginners chase at Gowran (23 November) which will be aim him for.

“Touch wood everything has gone well with him at home, his schooling has been good and he is a very nice prospect for this season.”

Balko Des Flos could head to Thurles next week rather than take up his entry in the Betfair Chase, but a trip to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Trophy remains a possibility for Chris’s Dream.

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He continued: “Balko Des Flos is entered up in the Betfair Chase. There is also a race at Thurles on Thursday, a nice Listed chase which could be ideal for him. He will do one or the other.

“Chris’s Dream is doing well, we’ve got him entered in the Troytown and the Ladbrokes Trophy. We aren’t sure yet which way we will go but he definitely will run in one of them.”

The trainer added that Honeysuckle had emerged from her impressive comeback win at Fairyhouse in good nick, though future plans had yet to be determined.

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