Monrecour springs a pleasant surprise

Monrecour and Vinnie Colgan combining to win well at Tauranga.

Monrecour and Vinnie Colgan combining to win well at Tauranga.

Roger James doesn’t mind getting surprises like Monrecour, an eye-catching debut winner at Tauranga last Monday.

A half-sister to the exciting Speedy Grey, Monrecour followed up a win in her sole trials appearance at Te Aroha last month with a big finish to win the Weekend Sun 1300 by a half-length.

“She probably surprised me a bit that day (in her trials win),” said James in a pre-race interview. “She went there for an educational look around and she trialled well and ran a bit of time.

“At home she lacks a lot of ringcraft, but she was quite professional at the trials. Even since the trial she has been a difficult filly to work on her own. She’s got to have mates to help her.”

Monrecour again showed her inexperience at Tauranga, but overcome that with sheer talent in the hands of Vinnie Colgan.

After beginning well and enjoying the trail, she was angled off the fence 300 metres out and hit the front at the 100. She appeared to change legs when mounting her winning run, but was simply too good for the runner-up, the favourite Aleria.

“She might be quite smart,” said James after the race. “The second horse I thought would take a power of beating. It’s nice to see raw ability.”

Monrecour went through the sale ring in the 2015 Select Yearling session, but was passed in with a reserve of $25,000.

A year earlier Speedy Grey, her half-brother by Thorn Park, was sold at the Select session for $75,000 and last year Monrecour’s sister also went through the Select Yearling sale and was bought by Okaharau Station for $14,000.

Rod’s Lincoln, a six-year-old brother to Speedy Grey, is also a Select Sales graduate and he has gone on to win six races from the Lisa Latta stable.

Speedy Grey has now been lost from the New Zealand scene as he is heading to Hong Kong for future racing, but Monrecour looks poised to carry on with the good work for their stakes-winning dam, Udiditagain.