Sydney’s Ron Quinton has confirmed plans to run his evergreen veteran Monton in his 60th career start this weekend with the rising nine-year-old set for a second-up run in the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
One of three Group races on the Hawkesbury card this Saturday as part of the late Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival action, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) attracted 24 entries at nomination stage on Monday.
One of the highest-rated of those and set to carry 58kg in a race where the Chris Waller-trained I’m Imposing and Joe Pride’s Laser Hawk will share equal 59kg top weight if accepted is Quinton’s Catbird eight-year-old.
It has been a while between drinks for Monton who hasn’t won a race since a non-black type handicap over 1500m at Rosehill last October.
He has had two previous starts at the Hawkesbury track, the latest of which was a second to Strawberry Boy in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m) last November.
Monton will be second-up on Saturday and is yet to win second-up in 11 previous attempts.
To date he has started 59 times for 10 wins, five seconds and four thirds.
While the winning strike rate isn’t great, Quinton remains hopeful the old warhorse can be competitive in a class Hawkesbury Gold Cup field that could include the likes of the local Tony McEvoy-trained Mouro, Gai Waterhouse’s in-form Ecuador and Doncaster Prelude runner-up Malice coming off a JRA Plate sixth.
First-up Monton ran in the $85,000 Royal Randwick 100 (1400m) on April 18, a race that produces a host of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup hopefuls including the Waller-trained winner Rugged Cross.
He was brave in defeat without the fitness edge, finishing only 1.2 lengths off the winner carrying the same 58kg he will have on his back this weekend in the rematch.
“I thought he ran great first-up and he has gone on nicely since that run,” Quinton told The Daily Telegraph said.
“He will run a race in the Hawkesbury Cup — you can never discount him, that’s for sure.”
Quinton’s other Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day nominee is four-year-old Dubawi gelding Boss Lane who is entered in the $125,000 XXXX Gold Hawkesbury Rush (1100m) along with the likes of the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained duo of Hot Snitzel (60.5kg) and Dothraki (59kg) who are the two heaviest weighted runners in the sprint clash.
The other highlights on the program are the $150,000 Group 3 The 2015 Darley Crown (1300m) and the youngsters facing off in the $150,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
The Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2015 field of final acceptors is out on Wednesday morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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