Trainer Ron Quinton has put his faith in his claiming apprentice Sam Clipperton to try to win back to back Villiers Stakes win on topweight Monton at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Top jockey Hugh Bowman was aboard Monton with 58kg when he took out the 1600m Summer Feature last year but Quinton has stuck with Clipperton even though he is unable to use his 2kg claim in the Group 2 $175,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m).
Monton hasn’t won a race since winning last year’s summer double of the Villiers and the Listed $100,000 Blackwoods Stanley Dewalt Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill and has only been allocated 59kg for Saturday’s race.
The Catbird six year old was beaten half a length with Clipperton aboard when second to Malavio in this year’s Festival Stakes as his final lead up in his attempt to win successive runnings of the Villiers.
“There might not have been many horses try it, but he’s in great shape,” Quinton said.
“He has come through his last run very, very well and I couldn’t be happier with him.
“Naturally he’s got a bit of weight but I guess he’s earned it.”
Quinton’s theory that Monton races at his best in the Summer is verified by studying his form with all his six wins are during the hotter months.
“His form has always been better in the warmer months. He’s developed that pattern in the past couple of seasons,” Quinton said.
Quinton is happy with the way Monton has pulled up after his second two weeks ago and Clipperton should be able to give the six year old the run of the race from barrier four.
“We don’t have to work the life out of him but we were happy with him,” Quinton said.
Peter Moody’s last start Caulfield winner Shout Out Loud will also get a nice run from the inside barrier while Luke Nolen on stablemate Highly Recommended will have his work cut out to slot in somewhere midfield after jumping from gate eleven in the eighteen horse field.
Shout Out Loud will carry 3kg less than his Caulfield win and Moody thought it was worth the trip north along with Highly Recommended who also looks well placed with 53.5kg.
“Both horses are in good form and the race suits them ideally, so they will both run in the Villiers,” Moody said.