Magical Season Continues for Monbet

29 April 2016 | Chris Barsby
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Dominant; Monbet scored another brilliant victory in the Gr.1 $150,000 Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park.

Dominant; Monbet scored another brilliant victory in the Gr.1 $150,000 Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park.

It was his race to lose.

This was the scenario facing brilliant Canterbury trotter Monbet tonight (Friday) at Alexandra Park, Auckland as he faced the starter in the Gr.1 $NZ150,000 Canam Rowe Cup, the final leg of the 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters series.

Following his breathtaking victory last week in the ANZAC Cup and the sad season ending injury to his arch rival Speeding Spur, punters installed the Greg and Nina Hope trained gelding as an unbackable favourite in the North Island’s biggest trotting feature.

And he didn’t disappoint.

Starting from the inside of the second-line in the 3200m stand start feature, champion reinsman Ricky May wasted little time soon after a safe beginning to put the big striding Love You gelding into a forward position.

Taking off at the 2000m mark, Monbet whistled around the field before taking control with 1700m left to run.

Thereafter, it was a procession.

The lead time was covered in 2:07.5.

May allowed Monbet to stride boldly in front while rivals jostled for positions as they battled for second prize.

Monbet covered the final mile in sectionals of 31.6, 29.8, 28.4 and 29 seconds.

In the home straight, Monbet raced away and scored a dominant victory with a winning margin of 3 ½ lengths over Valmagne while a further 2 ½ lengths back to Queen Kenny in third.

The race time was 4:06.3 with a mile rate of 2:03.8.

It was his sixth Group One triumph this season.

Monbet also becomes the first four-year-old to win the feature since Special Pride who scored back in 1980.

The victory provided May with his second victory in the Rowe Cup after scoring aboard with Highwood back in 1988 while it was a first for the Hope’s.

While recording back to back victories in APG Trotting Masters events during the past week, Speeding Spur will claim the title after amassing 220points throughout the season while Monbet will finish as the runner-up with 203 points.

But with the Gr.1 $NZ100,000 Ruby on Jewels day at Cambridge on June 4 at his mercy, it may be enough to secure both National Horse and Trotter of the Year awards.

A fitting result for a magical season if successful.

Only time will tell.