His ascent through the novice hurdle ranks culminated in a gutsy win in the 2020 Albert Bartlett at last year’s festival.
The Mullins inmate dug deep to lunge between Latest Exhibition and Fury Road to land Grade One spoils over timber.
Easily the best novice hurdle race of last season, Monkfish has continued his progression since switching to fences this campaign.
A foot perfect debut at Fairyhouse got him off the mark as a chaser.
His form has since hit new heights, notching up two Grade One victories. A three mile win at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival oozed class. His stamina shone through and he dispatched old rival Latest Exhibition by three lengths.
A drop in trip when last seen held no fears and the seven year old showed his gears over 21.5 furlongs to route Latest Exhibition for the third time.
The clear standard setter in the field, Monkfish stays, jumps well and has tactical speed. He’s already a short priced favourite for this, it’s highly likely he’ll be back in the Winners Enclosure at Prestbury Park this year.