Former Albury trainer Brett Cavanough is banking on The Monstar backing up for his greatest test in Saturday’s $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben.
The seven-year-old won last Saturday’s Moreton Cup on the Sunshine Coast.
It’s the first time The Monstar has backed up in a week since winning at Albury in 2013, but Cavanough is confident it won’t affect him.
The 12-time winner carries a reputation as a mudrunner.
“I don’t think it needs to be an absolute bog,” Cavanough said.
Cavanough is one of four owners, along with Albury businessmen Graeme Edgar and Glen Chapman, along with the latter’s good friend, Jeff Armstrong.
And Aquis Farm has also joined forces for the day after The Monstar’s win on the coast gave him ballot-free entry, but connections still had to find the $45,000 late acceptance fee.
“I’ve paid a couple of times the big money and the big noms (nominations) and we’d do our backside because he wasn’t going good enough and never rained, so this year I didn’t forward nominate,” Cavanough said.
“I rang a sponsor, a big racing and breeding organisation called Aquis, and they’re part-owners for the day, sponsors for the day.
“They put up the cash, so they’ve got naming rights.”
The Monstar boasts $731,000 in prizemoney from 46 starts, with 25 placings.
“How I look at it, at this time of the year, they’re probably the best 16 sprinters in Australia in the winter,” Cavanough said.
“It’s the biggest race he’s contested, he’s been playing this quality game for a while and it might just be the chance to level up with a few of them.”
It will be a tough Group One baptism for jockey Skye Bogenhuber, although she did win her first Group Two race at the first attempt last weekend.
Top weight Impending, boasting $2.4 million in prizemoney, including five wins from 17 starts, has form on the Queensland track after winning over the same distance a fortnight ago.