$1 million yearling Monkstone has failed to live up to his hefty price tag during his racing career to date, but Peter Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor has revealed that the stable is happy with the Fastnet Rock colt heading into the A.R. Creswick Series Final at Flemington tomorrow.
Monkstone made his racing debut with a promising second behind the talented Lord Of The Sky in the Procal Dairies Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield in July last year before stamping himself as a colt to watch with a strong win at Caulfield in the App Handicap (1200m) at Caulfield on July 27.
The three-year-old was touted as a genuine contender for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), but he was sent for a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock after he finished a disappointing 11th behind Long John in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7.
Monkstone returned to the races in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 1 and did plenty wrong to finish at the tail of the field and tired badly in the final stages of the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15 to finish tenth.
O’Connor told Racing Ahead that the Moody stable had been disappointed with Monkstone’s autumn preparation, but he believes that the rising four-year-old is starting to reach his physical peak and is hoping to see an improved performance in the A.R. Creswick Series Final this weekend.
“He was a little bit disappointing, but he seemed to always have a bit of niggle in the shins all the way through the past 12 months,” Moody said.
“He has always been a real late maturer and he has been soft boned, but now we don’t have any issues with him and we are going to take him to the races really happy with him.
“We do concede that this is a very good off season race for a stakes race at this time of year.
“He looked terrific in them (in two jump-outs at Caulfield) and we are going there satisfied that we are going to be able to have a good look at him and see what he can measure up to.
“At his best he should be running close to most of these, but we just want to see it before we get excited.”
Coolmore purchased Monkstone for $1 million at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, but he has accumulated only $65,100 in prizemoney in his five race starts to date.