Promising colt Monday Melody has pleased trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott in his build-up to the stiffest challenge of his brief career at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The son of Snitzel will front up against a small but select line-up in the Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial (1400m) with Joe Doyle booked to continue his association with the three-year-old.
“It’s certainly a step up for him, but we think he has continued to improve and he obviously has to as the competition gets harder and harder,” Scott said.
“We are pleased with the way he has continued to handle the preparation, he’s sound and has galloped in a manner that suggests he will race well.”
Monday Melody is currently the fourth favourite at $10 for next month’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with a start at Riccarton resting on the outcome of Saturday’s event.
“It will be performance-based, and we dearly hope he will put in one to warrant making the trip,” Scott said.
“Hopefully, he runs the race out in a manner that suggests he can run a strong mile.”
Monday Melody was a gallant runner-up on debut at Avondale last month and then broke his maiden at Te Rapa with a defeat of the stakes placed filly Glamour Tycoon and has proved an easy customer to manage.
“He has a good level of focus and he’s sound and happy, it certainly hasn’t been a bother with him still being a colt,” Scott said.
He was a A$600,000 purchase at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and his pedigree boasts strong New Zealand ties with his second dam the Gr.2 Counties Cup (2200m) winner Jeu De Cartes.
His third dam is the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) and Gr.1 Brisbane Cup (3200m) winner Prized Gem and she produced Nom Du Jeu, successful in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m),
Monday Melody, who carries the colours of gifted stablemate Dragon Leap, isn’t the only 2000 Guineas contender the stable has with Almanzor’s son and last-start winner Geriatrix also in the mix at $12 in the pre-post market.
“He’s a sound colt with a good mind and constitution. He might lack a little bit of ringcraft, but he has got a good turn of foot,” Scott said.
“He will run in a Rating 65 mile at Pukekohe and he’s the same, if the performance is there then we’ll certainly consider taking him down to Christchurch.”
Wexford will also have two other strong chances at Te Rapa on Saturday with Fabulous Gal in the Waikato Draught Handicap (1400m) and Strathtay in the Protek Coatings Mile (1600m).
“Fabulous Gal ran well at Taupo and the horse that beat her (Drum Major) has since won again,” Scott said.
“She is a handy mare and we think she will run really well second-up from a good gate (five).”
Jasmine Fawcett will partner Fabulous Gal and Doyle will again be aboard the progressive Preferment four-year-old Strathtay, who is unbeaten in his last two appearances over Saturday’s course and distance.
“He’s won his last two and is stepping up in class and runs into quicker ground,” Scott said.
“There’s a couple of question marks there, but he is going really well and should give another strong account of himself.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk.