By Michael Guerin
Thursday will be one of the more important days on Monbet’s road to racing again.
The champion trotter had his first public outing in nearly two years when he wasn’t asked for a serious effort in the main trot at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday.
Starting off a 40m handicap Monbet finished sixth in the 2600m trial won by Arnold in a relatively sedate time.
“Ricky (May, driver) never pulled him out,” said trainer Greg Hope.
“We will see how he is tomorrow but he seems fine so far,” he said on Wednesday night.
Hope’s caution is understandable as Monbet has been plagued by all sorts of issues since winning the Dominion in national record time two years ago and every time he looks set to return to the races something goes wrong.
But if he trots out a happy horse on Thursday morning it should be all go for his race return at Kaikoura on Monday where he joins arch rival Speeding Spur off a 10m handicap in the South Bay Cup.
Also heading to Kaikoura was the winner of the main pacing trial on Thursday in Cruz Bromac.
The last-start Methven Cup winner downed stablemate Thefixer by a half neck in the 2600m stand with the pair pacing their last 800m in 56.5 seconds.
Cruz Bromac was allowed to miss the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday and will join stablemate Eamon Maguire in the $50,000 Alabar Kaikoura Cup on Monday.
Thefixer is over a recent setback and is likely to join stablemate and NZ Cup favourite Ultimate Machete in their final lead-up race at Addington on November 2.