Seven-year-old gelding Monton will line up in this weekend’s Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) having worked his way back through the ratings following a relatively quiet year.
Trainer Ron Quinton told Sky Racing News the talented runner had used several open-age handicap events to return to a higher level of racing, and will happy if he performs to a competitive standard this weekend.
“We found those three handicaps over 1600 metres and he won two of them” Quinton said.
“Then he went to the Benchmark 95 with a big weight and won that so he’s raced his way out of those races again.
“There’s no doubt It’s A Dundeel is a class act, but if Monton can go there and run a terrific race we’ll be happy.”
The Catbird gelding nearly caused one of the biggest boil-overs of the 2013 autumn carnival, coming within a nose of claiming leader Shoot Out in last year’s Chipping Norton and will again jump as a rank outsider.
Monton has drawn the ideal barrier two for this weekend’s Group 1 feature at Warwick Farm and finds the event well-trialled, having returned to the track in November.
“With these older horses, sometimes when you send them for a spell it takes too long to get them back” he added.
“He seems to be the same now as he has been all through.
“We race him every fortnight and don’t do a lot with him in between. He has been a great old warrior for the stable and he’s earned nearly $800,000.”
While not outlining a clear path for Monton this preparation, Quinton said another appearance in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) in April may eventuate.
“He is entered in the Doncaster again but we’ll just take thing run by run, step by step” he said.
Monton is currently featuring as sixth favourite (of only eight runners) for 2014 Chipping Norton success at a quote of $17.
Talented New Zealand-import It’s A Dundeel is outright favourite and market mover for the Chipping Norton Stakes at $1.90.
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