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Hollow Games stamps his Cheltenham credentials with Monksfield success

Leading Albert Bartlett contender maintains unbeaten record.

Hollow Games maintained his unbeaten record when justifying short odds at Navan.
Hollow Games maintained his unbeaten record when justifying short odds at Navan.
Image: PA

HOLLOW GAMES LOOKED an exciting prospect when justifying prohibitive odds in the Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan.

The 2-5 favourite had started at an even more restrictive 1-9 when making a successful debut over the smaller obstacles at Down Royal last month, after wins in two bumpers and a point to point.

The five-year-old, trained by Gordon Elliott, took the Grade Three over two and a half miles in his stride as he extended his perfect record.

Wowsham shared the early running with Hollow Games, in what was only a sedate pace until the field closed up coming to the third-last where Wowsham was the first beaten.

Ridden by Davy Russell, Hollow Games held all the aces and was always in command – powering over the last on the way to scoring by two and a quarter lengths from Lunar Display.

Elliott said: “He’s a nice horse, it turned into a sprint. Davy said after the race ‘he’s not as slow as you think he is, when it turned into a sprint he quickened, put his head out and galloped’.

“I was worried as they went no gallop, but he will have learned a lot there. I think he’ll go to Naas now (Grade One Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle).

“He’s a horse that races behind the bridle, but he’s a real nice horse.

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“It’s great for Noel and Valerie (Moran, owners) as it’s local and it’s on television today.”

Hollow Games was cut to 8-1 from 9-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Betfair and Paddy Power.

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