A marathon of outs came to an end for the Grant Williams trained Moneghetti today at Belmont with a mesmerising last to first landslide victory in the $80,000 Listed York Stakes 1600m.
Winding back the clock 559 days, we witnessed the exciting Blackfriars then 4yo claim a hat trick of wins – the first two at Belmont, culminating in a brilliant half length triumph in the Northam Cup of 2011. As irony would have it, that Northam Cup win was Moneghetti’s only other salute over the mile and was executed in near identical fashion to today’s whitewash.
The 1600m start at Belmont severely disadvantages the runners drawing wide with only 200 metres of running before you hit the first bend. Renowned for “running on” in its races, jockey Glenn Smith was happy to drop Moneghetti ($21.00) to the rear of the field early from barrier nine. Copper Reign ($21.00) was out quickly, together with Global Flirt ($5.00), while the fancied Amelia’s Dancer ($5.00) was forced to race handy without cover. As the field bunched passing the 400m mark, Rebelson ($6.00) hit full gear, swinging the turn with confidence, and for a brief moment looked as if it had the race in its keeping. But from the tail rocketed Moneghetti with a blistering turn of acceleration, storming down the outside of the straight to claim Rebelson at the death by a long head. Miss Tipsy Topsy also worked home late from well back to secure a ¾ length third.
It is very hard to not compare Moneghetti to its namesake – Steve Moneghetti. It is very unusual to see a marathon runner lead all the way over 42 kilometres and in keeping with the irony surrounding this story, all of Moneghetti’s eight victories have seen the gelding come from last (bar one – second last), suggesting that endurance may not necessarily be passed on genetically.