Monkfish just too strong for Latest Exhibition again

Monkfish - continues to progress
Image: Monkfish - continues to progress

Monkfish again outdid his old rival Latest Exhibition in the Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

There was very little between the pair when Monkfish just prevailed in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and they dominated the finish in this Grade One too.

Paul Nolan's Latest Exhibition arrived on the back of a slightly disappointing defeat in Grade Two company last time out, having won on his chasing debut, but he did have the benefit of one extra run over fences.

Monkfish took over the running just after halfway for Paul Townend - and just as he had on his chasing bow, jumped with aplomb.

However, while at one stage it looked like he may just pull further clear, Bryan Cooper moved Latest Exhibition up alongside him on the run to the second last.

There was nothing between them as they raced at full pelt around the final bend and approached the last fence - and both met it on a decent stride.

After the last Monkfish (1-2 favourite) just had a bit more speed, though, and Willie Mullins' giant pulled three lengths clear as the champion trainer registered yet another notable Christmas success.

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