This Saturday on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill, Randwick-based trainer Ron Quinton will saddle up his progressive five-year-old Monton against a crack field in the 2012 George Ryder Stakes, the horse out to stake their claims for a Doncaster Mile bid.
Catbird gelding Monton, a winner of six of their 21 starts to date, resumed after a three month spell with a good first-up second when beaten just over a length by glamour mare More Joyous in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 24.
They return to the Gardens this Easter Saturday ready to step up to elite level company in the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), which runs as Rosehill Race 8 at 4:35pm.
The George Ryder Stakes 2012 will be Monton’s fifth attempt at taking out a thoroughbred major, their best result to date being their sixth to Shoot Out in the 2012 Randwick Guineas.
After mixed form early last year, Monton looked to have found their feet during the summer when they posted back-to-back Sydney wins in December firstly in Rosehill’s Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) and then in the Group 2 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
Showing they had lost none of their shine over the break with their eye-catching Canterbury run, Monton is being earmarked for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 21.
“He’s come along really well,” Quinton said.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t see much of his work (on Tuesday at Randwick) because the fog was too bad when he worked but my rider was happy.
“Craig Newitt rides him on Saturday and he’ll ride him in the Doncaster as well.”
They will face a star-studded field of fellow Doncaster Mile 2012-bound gallopers in the George Ryder on Saturday including the Grahame Begg-trained Secret Admirer and Gai Waterhouse’s Ajax Stakes winner from last weekend Niagara who pay $9 and $10 respectively in the early Doncater Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au.
Doncaster Mile betting is currently led by Peter Moody’s former Kiwi mare King’s Rose ($8) who bypasses the George Ryder Stakes in favour of a run against her own sex in the $400,000 Group 1 Inglis Queen of the Turf Stakes (1500m) also on Golden Slipper Day where she will come up against Canterbury Stakes winner More Joyous.
Monton, meanwhile, is the next shortest-priced of the George Ryder Stakes hopefuls in the Doncaster markets paying $13 through bookmaker.com.au.
The horse is set to get into the Doncaster Mile on the minimum weight making them a genuine chance according to both Quinton and Newitt.
“I explained to him (Newitt) before the Canterbury Stakes the races that I was going to run him in,” Quinton said.
“When he came back in after the race I said to him, ‘That horse only has 52 and a half kilos in the Doncaster, he can’t be rehandicapped and he’s exempt from any ballot’.
“He said to me, ‘I know because I’m riding him’.”
Other notable rivals for Monton in the George Ryder Stakes on Saturday include Futurity Stakes winner King Mufhasa, defending champ Rangirangdoo and Oakleigh Plate champ Woorim.
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