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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, July 29 2017

A new kid on the jumping block has given a number of his more experienced and better-performed rivals plenty to think about.

Monarch Chimes - Trish Dunell Photography

In just his second appearance over fences, Monarch Chimes made his mark in open company at Rotorua on Saturday with an excellent display to claim top honours in the Harcourts Taumarunui Hurdle.

Ridden by Shaun Phelan, the Shinko King five-year-old comfortably accounted for the reigning Grand National Hurdles champion Ngario and Raisafuasho, a four-time winner over hurdles.

“It was a big step up for him and he was up against a few guns so it was lovely to see how well he finished off,” said Emma-Lee Browne, who trains the gelding with her husband David.

“We were in two minds whether to go back to the flat, but he just loves his jumping so much.”

Monarch Chimes’ performance, which came off the back of his novice hurdle win at Te Aroha, has firmed plans to target the Schweppes Great Northern Hurdles at Ellerslie on September 9.

“Obviously we’ll talk to Shaun as he’s done all the work on him, but that’s certainly in the picture,” Browne said.

Monarch Chimes travelled easily behind the pace before he cruised up to challenge 400 metres from home and he drew clear to beat Ngario, who will improve with his first jumps outing of the season under his belt, by three and a-quarter lengths.

“He’s progressed a lot and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Phelan said.

“While he’s rolling along like he is you have to keep going, I reckon he can be a Northern horse.”

Posted by: Race Desk AT 06:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email