News

Monbet on target

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Champion trotter Monbet is on target for a comeback run at the Ashburton workouts next Tuesday after pleasing Canterbury co-trainer Greg Hope with his work on the beach.

Monbet threw a scare into the Hope camp when he had some heat in a front leg about three weeks ago.

A scan showed some aggravation of a minor injury he sustained in his three-year-old season, but Hope said on Monday that it was now “under control’’.

After a brief rest he has been “working well’’ on Woodend Beach for the last seven days.

“His training has been good. He trotted around on the beach this morning (Monday) and I was happy with his work.

“We’ll just see how he progresses over the next week and whether he goes to the trials next week we will play it by ear. He’s still got a good chance to make the (NZ) cup meeting all things going good.

‘’We are happy with him and each day he seems that much better. He was trotting well today.’’

If he comes through next Tuesday well he will be aimed at the $30,000 Ashburton Flying Mile (1609m mobile) on Monday, October 23.

The main aim remains the $300,000 Dominion Handicap (3200m), at Addington on November 17.

He won the race last year in a New Zealand record 4:00.7, but the brilliant six-year-old gelded son of Love You has not raced again due to niggling injuries since that memorable win, his eighth in succession.

Meanwhile, Hope said open-class pacer Seel The Deal would be out to improve on his second to Smolda last year in the $35,000 Methven Cup (3000m stand) this Sunday.

Seel The Deal ran home well for fourth in a slowly-run Canterbury Classic on Friday night at Addington behind Lazarus after finishing a fighting third fresh-up, in the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru, on September 24.

He has a great record on grass tracks with five wins and Hope expects a big run.

“He’ll be better suited and his record is as good as anyone on grass. The Methven Cup should suit him down to the ground.’’