Veteran Royal Ida ready for Monash

Luke Oliver is confident veteran sprinter Royal Ida will defy his age and run a bold first-up race in Saturday’s Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield.

The trainer said the rising 10-year-old had done everything right in his preparation for the 1100m weight-for-age feature.

“He’s been working really well. You wouldn’t know he was a rising 10-year-old, he’s still jumping out of his skin,” Oliver said.

“It’s a pretty good race with Reward For Effort and Arinos and a couple of the others but he will run really well, I’m sure of it.”

Oliver said 2009 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Reward For Effort was “definitely” the horse to beat.

“He (Royal Ida) ran second to Reward For Effort in a jumpout a couple of weeks ago which is probably a good guide,” he said.

Royal Ida, a five-time winner at weight-for-age, has been sparingly raced by Caulfield-based Oliver since he was bought out of a paddock after being retired by his former connections.

At that stage the Star Pyramul gelding had won 15 races from 48 starts for Mt Gambier trainer Mick O’Leary.

Oliver has won three more races with him from seven starts and around $240,000 in prizemoney taking his overall tally to more than $815,000.

Three starts back Royal Ida won the Group Three Standish Hcp (1200m) at Flemington on January 1 and at his latest appearance took out the Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes (1400m) at Hobart on February 8.

Oliver intends to give his stable star a light preparation over the winter period.

“We are trying to race him a little bit sparingly now that he’s verging on being a 10-year-old,” he said.

“We’ve targeted this race, the Bletchingly and maybe the Liston and we’ll probably give him another break after that.

“We gave him a good spell so that we could give him a crack at these races.

“He’s going that well I think he’s in for his best preparation and I don’t see why he can’t go on and have another preparation after this one.”

Brad Rawiller, who won on Royal Ida in Tasmania last start, retains the ride in Saturday’s Listed Race.

Reward For Effort, having his first for 15 months, is $3.10 favourite with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Oakleigh Plate runner-up Arinos at $5.50, with Royal Ida and Berringama at $7 and Keano next best at $9.