Beaten on debut two weeks ago, expensive Fastnet Rock colt Monkstone (2c Fastnet Rock x Catreign, by Tale of the Cat) showed the benefit of that experience to post his first win at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Peter Moody trained colt was again not brilliant to begin, but was driven forward by Vlad Duric to take up a position behind the leaders and when given clear running in the straight he quickly reigned in the opposition and drew clear to win the 1200 metre dash by a commanding two and a half lengths.
It was a positive step in the right direction and has connections looking forward to the spring when they can stretch the colt out to the mile of the Group I MRC Caulfield Guineas.
“He’s a very nice colt, but he’s quite deceiving as he’s so laid back at home, almost too relaxed and then he comes here and puts his game face on and is a different horse,” Moody said.
“He’s never really travelled in these shorter races and it will be interesting to see what he can do when he gets over seven furlongs and a mile and can get on the bit and travel.”
A $1million Inglis Easter purchase from the draft of Newgate Farm for James Bester Bloodstock/Demi O’Byrne, Monkstone runs for a syndicate of Coolmore and partners including Robert McClure of Morning Rise Stud, who bred the colt.
“He’s a million dollar colt with a hell of a pedigree, so he’ll be aimed towards the main races and progress through the Guineas Preludes to the Caulfield Guineas,” Moody added.
Winning rider Vlad Duric was also delighted with Monkstone and believes he has a bright future.
“He began only fair, but once he got to the outside of runners he was very impressive and has talent written all over him,” he said.
“He has a lovely manner about him that will take him a long way.”
Monkstone is the first winner for stakes-winning Tale of the Cat mare Catreign, who comes from an imported family featuring numerous Group I winners including Louis Quatorze, Royal Indy, Wildcat Heir and Awesome Gem.
Monkstone was the most expensive yearling by his champion sire sold in Australia in 2012 and is the 10th two year-old winner this season for Fastnet Rock.