By Glenn Davis
Caloundra trainer Stu Kendrick is pleased with the progress of talented four-year-old Rancho Montoya but will delay making a decision whether the gelding makes his comeback at Ipswich on Wednesday.
Rancho Montoya was a dual acceptor for the Class Four and Benchmark 65 Handicaps, both over 1350 metres, but after conferring with owners Kendrick has chosen the the Class Four Handicap if he starts.
The son of High Chaparral has not started since mid-February when he ran fifth to the David Vandyke-trained Deep Image in a set weights Class Three race.
Rancho Montoya was rated highly enough by Kendrick to consider sending interstate for the Group 1 Caufield Guineas as a three-year-old before recurring feet problems dashed a trip south.
“I was going to take him south for the Caulfield Guineas but he had a few issues, particularly with his feet so we called off the trip,” Kendrick said.
“We also had him gelded during his time out as a few jockeys felt he was pinching himself and wasn’t quite right.”
Kendrick also was forced to abort the Group 1 J J Atkins with Rancho Montoya as a two-year-old.
“I was getting him ready for the J J Atkins when he was two but he cut his leg in the paddock,” Kendrick said.
“The cut was in an awkward spot on the fetlock and was more skin than anything but it was enough to put him out for five weeks.”
Kendrick has been impressed with Rancho Montoya’s work since returning to work and has given him a solid three-month grounding for his comeback.
“He’s a heavy horse but so far we think we’ve got his feet problems corrected,” he said.
“He’s had plenty of work and has had a trial and two jump outs.
“His trial win was very good and he beat his stablemate Winter Passage who won first-up at Caloundra on Sunday.”
Rancho Montoya was a $70,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales but Kendrick is not looking too far ahead with him at this stage.
“It’s drawing a long bow to think about the Magic Millions just yet,” Kendrick said.
“At this stage we’ll just take one race at a time with him.
“I’m just happy to have him back but I want to see what the track is like before deciding if he’ll run.
“There’s plenty of options coming up if he comes back well enough but we won’t know until he’s put under race pressure.”
Racing Queensland webnews October 23