Eyes on the clouds
Wet weather key to Monstar’s Starlight hopes
THE predicted rain for Rosehill Gardens today and tomorrow might just be enough to get The Monstar back into the winners’ circle in the Listed Starlight Stakes.
The Brett Cavanough-trained seven-year-old has been racing in good form of late against the likes of Redzel and In Her Time.
But he’s had to do it on Good 3 surfaces where he doesn’t fully stretch out and show his best.
The likely Soft track tomorrow and the drop in grade make him an attractive runner at odds
his trainer says he’s going as well as ever.
“He’s been behind the best horses in the country so he’s been good this preparation and he’s where he belongs in this race,” Cavanough said.
“He’s at that level where it’s tough for him, week-in-week-out.
“I think he’s been at his peak the whole way through this time which is why we never went to
“He’s just got that little bit of ability.”
Of The Monstar’s 11 wins, eight of them have come of ground that is Soft or Heavy.
Cavanough said the difference when he races when he can get his toe into the track is a few lengths.
“When it’s wet he’s a lot better. If it’s anything worse than Soft 6 or 7 I’ll be very happy with him because he just hasn’t been able to find those tracks,” he said.
“If gets the sting out of the ground he’ll be more than competitive and he can carry weight. He’s as good as them when he gets it wet.”
The wide draw doesn’t concern Cavanough, who said jockey Richard Bensley would try and push him to the front.
He opted for instead of going for a regular metropolitan hoop.
“I wanted left-handed whip rider and Richie knows him well
has had a bit of success on him,” Cavanough said. “When you’re picking a rider for this horse you’ve got to look a genuine horseman who knows him because he’s a bit of quirky bugger. “Tommy Berry won on him, a left-handed whip rider, and if you look at a couple of the runs he’s had with right-handed whip riders you’ll see that he wonders around them a bit.”
The Monstar’s been racing mainly over 1200m of late but he’s had a couple freshen ups this campaign and the drop back 100m in distance won’t matter.
He’s still got speed in his legs, but Cavanough isn’t expecting him to get a picnic upfront.
“The hardest part at this level is that there’s always something with speed and gets home hard,” Cavanough said.
“There’s eight horses on the way up and five that are genuine competitors there is no easy Listed race.
“If you think you’re going to get a soft lead in front kidding yourself.
“I probably don’t give him enough credit for what he’s done this preparation.”
“He’s been behind the best horses in country so he’s good this preparation and he’s where he belongs in race.” BRETT CAVANOUGH
Trainer Brett Cavanough is hoping for rain to give The Monstar an edge in the Starlight Stakes.