Group 1 glory on the horizon for Montoya Star

Montoya Star strides clear to win. PIC: Racing Photos.

Montoya Star’s latest success will prolong her northern campaign.

Trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman have changed tack with the daughter of High Chaparral, who added Saturday’s Gr.3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes (1600m) to her burgeoning record.

“We were going to run her at Riccarton next week, but I guess we’ll be going to Te Aroha now,” Michael Pitman said, referring to the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).

An open handicap winner at Hawke’s Bay prior to Trentham, Montoya Star settled off the pace but once jockey Michael McNab got the five-year-old into the clear they powered home.

“Every time she’s been ridden right – and I’m not criticising anyone – she’s won. She has to be smothered up,” Pitman said.

Out of the Group One performer Stars In Flight, Montoya Star was an A$20,000 yearling purchase and the nine-time winner’s earnings now stand at $182,972.

“I’m just so rapt with her, she’d been working really well,” Pitman said. “We didn’t have to pay very much for her and she’s a little treasure.

Montoya Star won by a long head from Symphonic with Flamingo finishing strongly from the tail of the field for third.

The front-runner La Fille En Jeu kicked on gamely to take fourth money ahead of Sleek Secret.

The race was marred 300m from home when Holly Andrew parted company with Bronsteel, the apprentice suffering a dislocated shoulder in the incident.