Mature Nymph Monte ready for the Livamol

Nymph Monte

TRAINER and part-owner of Nymph Monte Grant Nicholson believes the horse has “improved so much” since punters last saw it and will be ready to fire on the big stage at Hastings on Saturday.

The Tavistock six-year-old will take on Group One winners Gingernuts, Volkstok’n’barrell, Close Up and Sofia Rosa in the Group One Livamol Classic in his third weight-for-age start over ground.

The horse’s first two weight-for-age 2000m starts were in the Group One Herbie Dyke Stakes where he finished unplaced in both races, but Nicholson believes he is preparing a much more mature horse this time around.

“He’s a lot stronger and mentally he’s improved so much,” Nicholson said.

“Last year he used to reef and pull and drop the bit.

“Even in his day-to-day manner this time in he’s better. He’s not being a big kid. He’s relaxed and just getting on with it all.”

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Despite its immaturity, Nymph Monte managed to fashion a good record by the end of the last campaign, taking its record to eight wins and seven placings from 34 starts.

Two of those wins came back-to-back in last year’s Listed Christchurch Casino Spring Classic and Listed Gold Club Metropolitan Trophy. Following that the horse recorded a fifth placed finish in the Group Three New Zealand Cup despite refusing to settle in the run.

Nicholson has given Nymph Monte three starts this campaign and there has been improvement with each outing.

The horse finished fourth first-up over 1400 metres behind Dolcetto at Tauherenikau in August then filled the same placing behind Wait A Sec over 1600m on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay Carnival.

Stepping up to a more suitable 2000m on the second day at Hastings, Nymph Monte sealed its tilt at the Livamol Classic when easily beating Group One performer Authentic Paddy and Wait A Sec in the open handicap.

The horse’s efforts have also pleased rider Rosie Myers, who has been Nymph Monte’s regular jockey this season and will again be in the saddle on Saturday.

“I’m happy, his preparation has gone well,” Nicholson said.

“He worked well (on Tuesday) and he’s ready for Saturday.

“We’ve been focused on getting him to this one and he’s ready to go a big race. He’ll be strong on the line, but it’s going to be tough. There are some very good horses in it.”

While Gingernuts is all the rage after his win in the Group One Windsor Park Plate, Nicholson also has the utmost respect for Volkstok’n’barrell.

Volkstok’n’barrell is the forgotten horse,” he said.

“He’s a multiple Group One winner and he went a top race on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival.”

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