Cavanough aims for Ramornie redemption
RACING: While the Clarence River Jockey Club's July Carnival gets in to full swing on Thursday, there is one runner who has been aimed at the Grafton Racecourse for a little under a year.
The Brett Cavanough-trained sprinter, The Monstar, who ran a gallant second in the GDSC Ramornie Handicap last year, has been readying for a return run at the feature sprint ever since he split Peter and Paul Snowden's pair Calanda and Flippant.
He seems assured of the topweight in this year's edition on July 11 after his game win under 57kg in the Moreton Cup at the Sunshine Coast last month.
The Monstar just failed to set a modern day weight carrying record in the Ramornie last year when he was beaten in a photo finish under 59.5kg and is likely to get a similar weight this year.
Since the 1920s, only five horses have won the Ramornie carrying more than 57kg, Scottish Crag's victory under 9.8 (61kg) in 1965 being the highest since Ready Aye Ready won under a massive 10.5 (65.5kg) in 1920.
The highest winning weight since 1965 has been 57.5kg carried by Cangronde when he beat out Moss Rocket in a sprint to the line in 1996.
Snowden was considering a start in the $50,000 South Grafton Cup (1600m) on July 8 for recent Doomben winner Grande Rosso but has ruled him out after going over the conditions of the race.
"I would expect Grande Rosso to get close to the maximum topweight of 62kg in the South Grafton Cup. It would be a bit too much weight for him,” Snowden said.
"I doubt I will have a Grafton Cup runner or a three-year-old for the Grafton Guineas but there may be a restricted horse or two that could make the trip.”