Monton is chasing his second victory in the Villiers Stakes (1550m) at the Randwick Kensington track on Saturday and trainer Ron Quinton said that he is happy with the form of the veteran gelding heading into the Group 2 event.
Monton had three starts during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing eleventh in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m), seventh in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) and seventh in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m), and after two weeks in the paddock returned to the races in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 30.
The Catbird gelding tired in the final stages of the race to finish eighth behind White Sage and Terravista but Quinton told Racing Ahead that he was satisfied with the performance and believes he has taken plenty of benefit out of the run.
“He is coming along good,” Quinton said.
“He only had a couple of weeks off last time and he had his first-up run in the Festival.
“I thought that he ran a credible race; he drew a terrible alley but young Sam (Clipperton) got him into a beautiful position early but then the pace slackened.
“It was pretty ordinary run race and when the pace slowed it didn’t suit him and it suited those two front-running horses White Sage and Terravista who are very promising horses.
“He worked very nicely this morning and I was very happy with him.”
There has been a great deal of controversy about the Villiers Stakes meeting being shifted from the course proper at Randwick to the inner Kensington track but Quinton believes that the change in track may increase the chances of Monton in the Group 2 event.
“The Villiers has been restructured a little bit, over 1550m on the Kensington track, and that doesn’t harm him either,” Quinton said.
“He will certainly get a run and that might be too his advantage a little bit.”
Monton has been a consistent performer at the highest level of racing but has been unable to record a race win at Group level since he beat Kontiki Park and King Lionheart to win the 2011 edition of the Villiers Stakes.
Despite being unable to add another Group victory to his racing resume, the seven-year-old has still produced some outstanding performances; finishing second behind More Joyous in the 2012 Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), a narrow runner-up to Shoot Out in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and third in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m).