Star Of Monsoon on the rebound
STAR Of Monsoon, once maligned as a non-winner, continued his career resurgence with an impressive return to racing at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Trainer Gerald Ryan and jockey James McDonald are convinced Star Of Monsoon can only improve further after his win in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1200m).
Ryan said he could take Star of Monsoon through his grades this campaign.
"There might even be a stakes race at the end of the carnival we could aim him at,'' the trainer said.
McDonald was even more emphatic, describing Star Of Monsoon as a "lovely horse".
"I think he will get a bit of confidence out of that win,'' the champion jockey said.
"He's a good galloper on his day. He feels like a nice horse.''
Star Of Monsoon ($4.80) was given the run of the race by McDonald and the gelding forged clear to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths from Smartedge ($3.70 favourite), with Paret ($7.50) running on late for third.
"He had the fresh form, he had the soft draw, he's good on dry tracks and got the gun ride - all he had to do was sit and steer him,'' Ryan said.
Ryan said gelding Star Of Monsoon had been the making of the well-bred sprinter.
Star Of Monsoon is superbly bred by champion racehorse and sire Lonhro out of Monsoon Wedding, herself a full sister to super sire Redoute's Choice.
But Star Of Monsoon's first two seasons of racing were full of frustration and disappointment as he recorded 11 minor placings from 16 starts.
"He was a very quiet colt and we didn't want to geld him because he is so well bred - that's why we persevered with him,'' Ryan said.
"But once he turned a four-year-old he had no commercial status so we gelded him to try and turn him into a racehorse.''
Star Of Monsoon has had six starts as a gelding for three wins and is yet to miss a place.
"I think he is just a sprinter,'' Ryan said of Star Of Monsoon.
"We will look for a suitable race for him next start because he will improve with this run.''
Smartedge ran on well for a solid second and also could be placed to advantage next start.