Monton has performed well in two race starts since returning to the races and trainer Ron Quinton is happy with the condition of the veteran gelding heading into the 2014 Bill Ritchie Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Monton returned to the races with a tough fourth in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and he loomed as the winner in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on September 6, but he tired in the final stages of the race to finish sixth.
Quinton blamed the heavy Royal Randwick track for the poor final 50 metres of Monton in the Tramway Stakes and he is confident that the eight-year-old can produce an improved performance on top of the ground in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) this weekend.
“They have been very sound runs on heavy ground, which he handles, but he handles a dry track better,” Quinton told Racing Ahead.
“He took it to Tiger Tees inside the 200 there the other day and I believe that he just knocked up in the last 50 metres under those conditions.
“We have to remember that it is a Randwick meeting so the rain will probably arrive and it has been frustrating.
“The old horse is in good order, he has the 59 and he will carry the weight alright.
“I just fear the younger up and coming horses down on the limit and they could be his dangers.”
The Bill Ritchie Handicap has drawn a small field of seven runners, but there could still be some early speed in the race in the form of the Gai Waterhouse-trained duo of Aussies Love Sport and Pheidon.
Monton will jump from barrier two with Sam Clipperton on his back and Quinton believes that the inside draw is ideal for the son of Catbird in the Bill Ritchie Handicap.
“It is important that he draws a good gate because he just needs to draw that little bit of cover early,” Quinton said.
“He likes to have a nice easy run in behind them, so it is a good alley for him.”
Monton is currently available at 2014 Bill Ritchie Handicap odds of $5.50, with Joseph Pride-trained Rock Sturdy ($2.60) a clear favourite from Pheidon ($4.40), Tougher Than Ever ($8) and Aussies Love Sport ($9).