Connections of triple stakes winner Monton have warned not to write them out of the Doncaster Mile Handicap 2012 picture at Randwick this Saturday despite their somewhat disappointing finish last start.
Ron Quinton’s Catbird five-year-old won the Listed Festival Stakes – Group 2 Villiers Stakes double in Sydney last December before resuming with an eye-catching second behind Gai Waterhouse’s champion mare More Joyous in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 24.
Monton failed to produce another top three finish last start however when they crossed four lengths away 11th to Metal Bender in a Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) field full of Doncaster hopes.
Saturday will see them step up to the Randwick mile against a star-studded field for the $2 million Group 1 BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Drawn in barrier 18 of 22 with regular jockey Craig Newitt to ride, exactly how Monton will be ridden from the gate is playing to be left up to Newitt according to Quinton.
“It is very hard to be giving the jockey and specific instructions from those draws,” Quinton said.
“You just have to leave it up to them.
“They know what they are riding, they know the field so you just have to leave it to them because it is too hard coming up with a specific plan from there.”
Monton may not have gotten he draw but he gets into the Doncaster extremely well in the weights.
For their opening two this season they carried a hefty 59kg but have been allocated just 52.5kg for Saturday.
“I am very happy with his two lead up runs,” Quinton said.
“He had a lot of genuine excuses last start.
“The way the race was run he had too much daylight in front of him and wanted to race too keen.”
Doncaster Mile odds at bookmaker.com.au are led by six-time Group 1 winner More Joyous and Flight Stakes champ Secret Admirer paying $6 a piece.
Further down the Doncaster Mile betting markets punters will find Monton at a quote of $18.
When they met More Joyous in the Canterbury Stakes she carried 57kg and he 59kg, but Saturday sees Monton come up against her five kilos better in the weights, and Quinton is confident they will be competitive in the Doncaster.
“I’m very happy with him,” Quinton said.
“He has trained on well, looks very well, I’m very happy with his fitness and his condition.
“Everything is really good.
“There are many chances in the race.
“It is a very open race; you could pick two or three and still miss the winner.
“He will be very competitive.”
While many of the other Doncaster hopefuls could fail to produce on a rain-affected track this weekend, Quinton’s galloper has run and won on a Heavy (9) before when prepared by Tim Martin.
Still the local horseman said he would prefer Randwick to get within the Slow range for Monton to perform at their best.
“He has won on Heavy but I’d prefer it not to be heavy,” Quinton said.
“At this point in time it will be Heavy.
“There is more rain predicted and it has been pelting down here today.”
There is also a chance that Monton will back up Saturday week on Sydney Cup Day in the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), after which they would be spelled ahead of a spring return.
“We may squeeze one more run into him before he goes for a spell,” Quinton said.
“If he does have another start he would be backing up in the Queen Elizabeth.
“He won’t go to Queensland. He’s not a good traveller.
“He’ll have a break and then come back for the spring.”
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