Monbet The Monster

22 April 2016 | Chris Barsby
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Superb; Monbet was a runaway winner of the ANZAC Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland.

Superb; Monbet was a runaway winner of the ANZAC Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland.

It was billed as classic prized fight.

Two young raging bulls pitted against one another in the peak of condition.

Sadly, the knockout blow was one of catastrophic proportions.

Rising trotting star Monbet blew away arch-rival Speeding Spur in tonight’s (Friday) Gr.1 $NZ100,000 H.R. Fisken & Sons ANZAC Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland.

This was no lucky wild haymaker or sucker punch; rather it was a flawless display of pure power and absolute precision.

Starting from the inside gate, Monbet and driver Ricky May made no effort to use his coveted draw as Speeding Spur raced clear with the early lead in the 2200m mobile feature.

Speeding Spur, fresh from his devastating victory in the Great Southern Star at TABCORP Park, Melton last month, was allowed to dictate the terms in front with driver Josh Dickie knowing exactly where his main threat sat.

As the race continued, it was obvious the emerging young guns were set to dominate the finish.

But nobody expected what was to come next.

As Speeding Spur straightened with the lead and kicked into top gear, May gently guided Monbet into the passing lane and the rest was history.

It was scintillating speed, poetry in motion.

May was barely a passenger as the big striding Canterbury trained gelding completely demoralised Speeding Spur by 3 ¼ lengths with Jag’s Invasion a further 2 ¾ lengths back in third.

The margin could have easily been greater but May was mindful of what is still to come in the next week.

While the race time was posted at 2:43.1 and well outside of the race record which was set twelve months earlier when Sheemon recorded a time of 2:42.4, the mile rate was a respectable 1:59.3 while the final half timed in 57.3 seconds with the final section of 27.7 seconds.

The winning performance of Monbet left seasoned Alexandra Park regulars completely stunned.

Next week, trainers Greg and Nina Hope will prepare their stable star for the grueling $NZ150,000 Canam Rowe Cup, the final leg of the 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters.

The 3200m stand start feature is steeped in tradition and only the best survive.

The winning effort of Monbet takes him to 103 points on the leaderboard, well short of Speeding Spur who has amassed 220 points.

While tonight’s result was unanimous for Monbet and a severe beat down for Speeding Spur, the rematch next week will be a must watch event under vastly different conditions.