Master Montaro books ticket to Hong Kong

Ready To Run Sale graduate Master Montaro receives a pat from Michael Walker when winning at Geelong on Friday Photo: Reg Ryan/Racing Photos

Master Montaro (Toronado) will do his future racing in Hong Kong, after winning his second start in effortless fashion at Geelong on Friday in a BM70 Handicap over 1140m.

The New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale graduate came from last to amble past his rivals when winning on debut at Pakenham in March for trainer Richard Laming.

The three-year-old gelding was part-owned by a group of Kiwis, which included Woburn Farm principals Adrian Stanley and Hannah Kettlety, who retained a share in the horse after selling him at the 2018 Ready to Run Sale for $300,000.

After his eye-catching win at Pakenham the son of Toronado was the subject of several high-priced offers and eventually sold privately to Hong Kong-based owner Edmond Lee who intends to race him in his homeland with incoming trainer David Hayes, who along with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig trained him to win his second start.

Due to the strict Hong Kong Jockey Club rules Master Montaro was not eligible to enter Hong Kong off his 63 rating following his debut victory, but his second start demolition of older rivals will ensure the minimum Hong Kong 68 rating is achieved.

Master Montaro came from well back in the field to over-power his rivals and win by three lengths under a cozy Michael Walker ride.

“The race set up well for him with the really hot tempo up front,” stable representative JD Hayes said.

“It was nice to see him close out and have a quiet polished win.

“There has certainly been a big hype on the horse, given the A$1.5 million purchase price, but credit to the owner Edmond Lee, he’d be worth every cent of that off that performance.”

JD Hayes admitted to a few anxious moments when the three-year-old stood his rivals a hefty margin rounding the home bend, but those feelings were quickly quashed.

“He seemed to pick them up within a stride or two. It was quite an easy watch from the 300m on,” he said.

“He’s quite untapped and he is such a big athletic type, typical of the sire Toranado, I am sure he will get more ground, he has got so much scope. He is quite exciting and I am certain he will get over 1400m and a mile.

“He was well placed today and he will go straight home, be out of work and into a nice paddock ready for Hong Kong and hopefully he can put on a show up there.”

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