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Monasterio atones for flop to target Derby

Monasterio has redeemed himself and his reward could be a start in the Group One Queensland Derby.

Chris Waller nominated Sizzling Bullet as the horse most likely to head to Eagle Farm on June 10 before the benchmark EML Handicap (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

But ultimately the colt was upstaged by a three-year-old gelding who flopped as favourite in finishing second last in his previous start at Kembla Grange on May 13.

Monasterio ($21) made amends in style as Chad Lever cannily opted for a rails run to haul in stablemate Cross Stitch ($11) over the latter stages to score by half a length.

Lord Kingsley ($41) made up ground late to place third, a short half head behind Cross Stitch. Sizzling Bullet was fifth.

“It was a very good effort,” said Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth.

“It’s a massive change in tactics for him, he led last last start and did things upside down and did it wrong. Today he went back, switched off and really hit the line.

“He saved a lot of ground coming up the fence, which is where we didn’t think we’d want to be. It worked today, that’s the main thing.

“He’s still got a lot of learning to do but he’s gone from a beaten $1.80 favourite at the provincials and then come out and won next start just through doing things right.”

Duckworth was also impressed with Cross Stitch, though the filly is unlikely to back up in next weekend’s Group One Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm.

“It was a very gutsy performance from her, she’s been crying out for the distance,” he said.

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