Trainer Ron Quinton has elected to run veteran gelding Monton in the 2014 Show County Quality rather than the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Monton has not been seen at the races since he beat home just a single runner in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but Quinton gave the Catbird gelding a couple of barrier trials at Royal Randwick and Warwick Farm to get him ready for his return to racing.
Quinton told Racing Ahead that he is not going into the race particularly confident, but he believes that Monton gets into the Show County Quality well with 56 and a half kilograms on his back.
“He will run in the Show County,” Quinton said.
“I just thought that the shorter trip with the track looking like it will be heavy for Saturday for sure and him being first-up and I didn’t think he was too badly weighted in the Show County either with 56 and a half.
“The other day in the trial at Warwick Farm he hit the line really strong; they were a bit nippy for him over that short a course, but they ran a very quick time.
“He has had two trials and he has run on a heavy, so we are going in not confident, but knowing that the horse is well and a beautiful sound horse.”
Sam Clipperton has partnered Monton in his last seven race starts, steering him to victory on three occasions during his summer campaign, and he will ride the eight-year-old in the Show County Quality.
Clipperton has become like a son to Quinton and his wife Margaret and the veteran trainer said that he has been very proud of what Clipperton was able to achieve during his apprenticeship.
“He will maintain the ride,” Quinton said.
“He is now a senior rider and he has won three on him last preparation as an apprentice claiming.
“Not many apprentices win too many premierships in a row because they get down in their claim and it gets very hard for them.
“He was so determined this season to outride his claim and win it again and I kept saying to him ‘you’ll struggle to do it’, but he got the job done.
“It was really, really great.”
Monton will be having his third straight start in the Show County Quality after finishing sixth behind Moment Of Change in 2012 and 11th behind Rebel Dane in the 2013 edition of the race.