By Tony White
Slick sprinter The Monstar will be out to maintain his unbeaten record on his home track at Albury on Thursday in the $40,000 Barlens City Hcp (1175m).
The Brett Cavanough trained five-year-old gelding has recorded five from five at Albury.
He is also attempting to win the City Hcp, the major sprint on the first day of the two day Albury Gold Cup carnival, for the second year in succession.
Cavanough has taken a different path with the gelding this time around as he is backing up within five days of his last start 2.8 lengths sixth to Alberto Magic over 1100m at Rosehill in a Group Three race on March 12.
“Yes it’s a quick back up but I think the horse will handle it,” Cavanough suggested. “The way he cantered around on Wednesday, he’ll be there somewhere, very hard to beat.
“If he won in Sydney he probably wouldn’t be at Albury because he’d get too much weight. His last start run was really good. He was three deep with cover and his run probably peaked 100 metres out.
“He made an impact from the 300 to the 100 metres but they ran it in race record time and you can’t make up ground when they’re running home in the sectionals they did.
“He’s been coming up against the A and B-graders lately and has drawn horror gates (barriers).
“He’s drawn a good barrier Thursday (two) but has a good horses weight (61.5kg).”
The Monstar drops considerably in grade from his last three starts since resuming from an 88-dap spell. He has competed with distinction in Stakes, Group 2 and Group 3 company.
If The Monstar backs up from Rosehill he is undoubtedly the horse to beat.
Cavanough said “maintenance” on the horse had “been up to the mark” and he reiterated the gelding is a “seasoned traveller” and shouldn’t have any hangover effects from his last run.
“He looks magnificent” Cavanough added. “He’s nice and bright and obviously loves racing at Albury.
“He hasn’t got a bad record there has he?” Cavanough added tongue in cheek well aware of his home track record.
Cavanough added you can expect The Monstar to go forward from the ideal barrier and “apply the pressure a long way out.”
Cavanough will also saddle up Lampedusa in the event.
“He’s a Flemington winner and if he turns on could be the knockout horse,” Cavanough suggested.