Stronger Nymph Monte ready for Livamol
Nymph Monte has gone from being a boy to a man and he’s ready to prove it on the big stage at Hastings on Saturday.
The Tavistock six-year-old will take on Group One winners Gingernuts, Volkstok’n’barrell, Close Up and Sofia Rosa in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic in his third weight-for-age start over ground.
|Nymph Monte Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
His first two weight-for-age 2000 metre starts were in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes where he finished unplaced in both races.
But his Opaki trainer and part-owner Grant Nicholson believes he’s a different horse this time around.
“He’s a lot stronger and mentally he’s improved so much,” Nicholson said. “Last year he used to reef and pull and drop the bit.
“Even in his day-to-day manner this time in he’s better. He’s not being a big kid. He’s relaxed and just getting on with it all.”
Despite his immaturity, Nymph Monte managed to fashion a good record by the end of his last campaign, taking his record to eight wins and seven placings from 34 starts.
His performances included back-to-back wins in last year’s Listed Christchurch Casino Spring Classic (2000m) and Listed Gold Club Metropolitan Trophy (2500m), both at Riccarton, before over-racing yet still finishing fifth in the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m). He later picked up a fifth in the Gr.2 Avondale Gold Cup (2200m).
Nicholson has given Nymph Monte three starts this campaign and there has been improvement with each outing.
He was fourth fresh-up over 1400 metres behind Dolcetto at Tauherenikau in August then filled the same placing behind Wait A Sec over 1600m on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay Carnival.
Stepping up to a more suitable 2000 metres on the second day at Hastings, Nymph Monte sealed his tilt at the Livamol Classic when easily beating Group One performer Authentic Paddy and Wait A Sec in the open handicap.
His efforts have also pleased rider Rosie Myers, who has been his regular jockey this season and will again be in the saddle on Saturday.
“I’m happy, his preparation has gone well,” Nicholson said. “He worked well (on Tuesday) and he’s ready for Saturday.
“We’ve been focused on getting him to this one and he’s ready to go a big race. He’ll be strong on the line, but it’s going to be tough. There are some very good horses in it.”
While Gingernuts is all the rage after his win in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate, Nicholson also has the utmost respect for Volkstok’n’barrell.
“Volkstok’n’barrell is the forgotten horse,” he said. “He’s a multiple Group One winner and he went a top race on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival.” – NZ Racing Desk