Eight-year-old gelding Monton will run his fourth consecutive Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) this Saturday at Rosehill Gardens.
He first ran the race in 2011, scoring the inside run from barrier one and winning by half a length, before finishing second the following year just half a length behind Malavio. His worst result was in last year’s edition, finishing five and a half lengths behind the winner in eighth place.
He’s in fine form to win the 2014 Festival Stakes after winning over the same course and distance on October 25, which was sandwiched between two second placings over 1400m.
“He’s going really well the old boy, albeit in a bit easier company, but he’s sound and healthy and should run his usual honest race,” Monton’s trainer Ron Quinton told TVN.
“Having the top weight in that class won’t make it easy for him, but I couldn’t be any happier with how he’s going.”
Unfortunately for Monton he will carry the topweight of 60kg in the Festival Stakes, up three and a half kilos from what he carried in last year’s race. The gelding will also jump from barrier 10, which is only two gates better than when he finished eighth last year.
The gelding has seen his price drift from $8.50 out to $11 in the Festival Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au however Quinton is confident he can be competitive.
The trainer will also saddle three-year-old gelding I Am Impressed in the weekend’s action at Rosehill in a benchmark 71 over 1200m. Quinton is excited about the gelding’s chances in the race, for which he is a $6 shot.
Should I Am Impressed live up to his name, the trainer will begin preparing him for the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) on the Gold Coast in January.
“Certainly, that race is in the plans for him if he can show us what we expect of him in his next couple of runs,” Quinton confirmed.
“He is eligible and the race is worth a lot of money so we have to seriously consider it, but he does need to show us that he’s taken the next step, starting from Saturday.
“He looked pretty good in his first preparation and I think he’s come back better.
“His work through the week was good and I’m confident he’ll run well.”
If you’re as excited about this Saturday’s racing at Rosehill Gardens, open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account and take a punt. New customers will receive up to $100 in a bonus match on their first bet.