Local Sydney horseman Ron Quinton is eager to get his Group 2 winning six-year-old Monton back under race conditions when they return to racing in Saturday’s 2013 Apollo Stakes at Warwick Farm Racecourse as he looks to overcome the loss of the horse’s part-owner David Lamond.
Lamond died suddenly just over a week ago and was one of Quinton’s long-time supporters, the loss hitting hard for the dedicated horseman.
“We’d been friends and mates and worked together with the horses buying them at sales,” Quinton said.
“He will be a big loss to our stable.”
Having known Lamond for many years Quinton considered the bloodstock agent a friend as well as a business associate and is hoping for Catbird gelding Monton to bring him some emotional relief after a tough week when they run in the $250,000 Group 2 Schweppes Apollo Stakes (1400m) on the weekend.
Monton’s last win was in the Group 2 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) back in December of 2011 and they return to the track that win was achieved on for the Apollo.
While it has been a long time between drinks for the gelding Monton did show some promise during their most recent summer prep which was highlighted by a close second to Malavio in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in early December.
They were last seen crossing three lengths away fifth to Moriarty in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2000m) on January 1, a performance Quinton is hoping they will improve on here.
“I thought he ran creditable in the mile-and-a-quarter Cup with a huge weight,” Quinton said of that run where Monton carried 59kg.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to give him another crack at another 2000 metres race at some stage.”
Their first-up record is quite good, something Quinton is relying on, with Monton having run an eye-catching second to glamour mare More Joyous when resuming last autumn in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.
Quinton gave the horse a serious piece of work on Tuesday morning and is confident they are ready to be competitive in the Apollo from their nice barrier four draw with apprentice hoop Sam Clipperton booked for the ride.
“I gave him a couple of weeks off and then brought him back. He’s lost nothing in fitness,” Quinton said.
“I thought he worked particularly well on Tuesday morning on the course proper.
“He’s capable of running a real good race, don’t worry about that.”
It is shaping up as a crack edition of the Apollo Stakes for 2013 too with Chris Waller dominating the field with six of his stable stars.
The best fancied of Waller’s crew are reigning Chipping Norton Stakes winner Shoot Out and emerging General Nediym colt Tougher Than Ever who occupy the second and third lines of Apollo Stakes betting respectively behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold.
Monton meanwhile is one of the longer priced chances in the race paying around $21 to score an upset.
If all goes to plan this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Monton will be set for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 20 for which they are currently a triple figure roughie in the futures markets for.
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