Graham's ability to offset Montanus concerns
COFFS Harbour trainer Brett Dodson is banking on jockey Peter Graham's ability to overcome Montanus' fitness and weight concerns when the four-year-old resumes at Grafton today.
“If Peter can give him the right run, Montanus is capable of winning,” Dodson said.
“He's the best horse in the race but he's resuming, not real big and has to carry 58.5kg.”
Graham will be out to make every ride count at Grafton after copping a rare suspension at Coffs Harbour last Sunday - his first in 18 months - which commences after he rides at his home track of Port Macquarie on Sunday.
Apart from Montanus the talented jockey, who is currently second to Greg Ryan on the country jockeys' premiership with 63 wins, has two outstanding mounts for local trainer John Shelton - Ceequal Star and promising filly Star Of Cugat.
Montanus tackles The Workers - Woody, Nick, Tim, Greg & Pat Hcp (1000m).
Dodson came by Montanus via Coffs Harbour trainer Jessica Lang who elected to turn to other pursuits last year.
At his first start for Dodson, Montanus scored over 1000m at Tamworth on August 1 then, with Graham in the saddle, won again over 1200m on Casino Cup day, August 17.
He was spelled after his fifth to Frisco Miss at Grafton on September 3.
“I've given him an 800-metre jumpout and he went well,” Dodson said.
“He's not fully wound up but he's only lightly framed and generally comes to hand quickly.
“I think he can run well and as I said earlier, if he gets the right run can win.”
Graham reunites with Shelton's exciting filly Star Of Cugat in the Grahame & Barb Brotherson/Grafton Gas & Plumbing Hcp (1000m).
The pair combined for four successive wins last campaign.
Ceequal Star, a top last-start third at Ipswich, tackles The Grafton Ghosts Mdn (1200m).