Tommy terrific in Monstar main role

Dec 18, 2016

Brad Davidson, The Daily Telegraph

TOMMY Berry threw tactics out the window shortly after the start on Saturday as The Monstar lived up to his name and delivered punters a second knockout at Royal Randwick.

Fresh off $31 pop Sense Of Occasion’s victory in the Villiers Stakes a race earlier, The Monstar gave bookies another reason to celebrate when the $16 chance out-toughed his rivals in the Listed Green Options Racing Razor Sharp (1200m).

Berry, who picked up the ride on The Monstar after Richard Bensley couldn’t fulfil his obligation due to illness, conceded it wasn’t the plan to lead but said he was left with no choice after 200m. “He is not a very easy horse to ride and he is quite difficult,” Berry said.

“I spoke to (trainer Brett Cavanough) this morning and he said ‘just come out quiet on him and see if you can get some cover’.

“After about a furlong, I thought, ‘well, this isn’t happening because he was going too keen early’, so I let him stroll forward.

“I had him close to his top the whole way because he is tough and he was very brave to fight them off.”

The win was The Monstar’s eighth from just 13 starts on soft tracks and Berry said he revelled in the soft 7 conditions.

“He enjoyed the soft ground and he is a bush horse and they are all tough,” he said. “Full credit to the whole team at home and it was great to pick up the ride.”

The Monstar beat Sirbible by three-quarters of a length with His Majesty, who looked the winner halfway up the straight, holding on for a sound third.

Kuro and Inz’n’out were both disappointing, finishing second-last and last respectively.