Monegal will carry good form and – just as importantly – be nice and relaxed heading into the $200,000 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) at Scone on Saturday.
The six-year-old has won two of her past four starts – the $150,000 Canberra Mile on February 25 and the $160,000 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on March 19.
Her last start was a seventh in the $160,000 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 26.
But trainer Theresa Bateup believes her mare has benefitted from the break, and punters could find value in the $34 she’s been given to win by Betfair, or $8 to place.
“She’s coming off a little bit of a freshen-up after the Neville Sellwood and Epona,” she told horsebetting.com.au.
“She had two weeks in the paddock. She’s always performed quite well off those short little breaks.
“Going back to 1400m will be no concern at all.
“It’s a tough race with a big field and a quality race. But she’s drawn the right barrier (nine) for her.
“The track at Scone should suit her – it’s a nice big track.
“She’ll run a nice race, and you just need that bit of luck to go your way in those sorts of races.”
Monegal – with Rachel King aboard – was outstanding in her Epona Stakes triumph, winning by two lengths after bursting clear at the 200m mark.
“It was probably the dominance of it (which impressed me). It was probably one of her easier wins to watch,” Bateup said.
“From a long way out you always felt comfortable that she was going to win it, and it was the fashion in which she did it.”
That performance gave Bateup every reason to believe more success can come Monegal’s way.
“Especially being a six-year-old mare she’s improving with age, and probably had the best preparation she’s ever had,” she said.
“She’s always been a very honest little mare and always been quite talented.
“So it was very pleasing to see her get that black-type next to her name (at Rosehill). it was what she deserved, and it would be nice to add a bit more to it.
“She’s enjoying her racing at the moment. We’re happy with her, she’s working well and she’s her normal self.
“So while she’s like that we’ll press on. As soon as she shows us anything otherwise then she’ll head to the breeding barn.
“We’re taking it run-by-run at the moment and we’ll be guided by her.”
Alysha Collett will ride Monegal in the Dark Jewel Classic.
“She’s a very talented rider and I’m more than happy to have her on,” Bateup said.
“I think she’ll suit Monegal when Rachel was already committed to Exotic Ruby.
“Rachel’s on my other one on the day (Divine Breath in race five).”
Monegal Odds In The Dark Jewel Classic
Race 8 – #3 Monegal (9)
6yo Mare | T: Theresa Bateup | J: Ms Alysha Collett (56.5kg)