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Monegal will be back in Scone for the first time since she was a yearling

Sold for a bargain price at the Scone Yearling Sale, Monegal will come full circle when she returns to where it all began for a shot at the Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic.

Theresa Bateup bought the daughter of Lope De Vega for just $3000 in 2017 and it has proven an astute purchase with the now six-year-old going on to amass more than $653,000 in stakes.

“It’s a good story, a $3000 Scone yearling buy through to a Group 3 winner at her 50th race start,” Bateup said.

“She hasn’t been back there since we bought her at the sales.

“The Scone track is such a beautiful big track, it should really suit her.”

Monegal has been racing in peak form, capturing a first Group win for herself and her trainer in the Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill in March.

She was given a brief stint in the paddock after finishing midfield in the Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) a run later, and while the 1400 metres of Saturday’s Dark Jewel Classic is short of her best journey, she does have a handy fresh record.

“She did really well in the paddock, she put on 22 kilos in 13 or 14 days,” Bateup said.

“She comes to hand pretty quickly and I’ve been happy with her. She has done really well in herself.

“This race was always the aim. She is very effective fresh.

“She is a six-year-old mare, but she is racing better than she ever has. She has always been honest and consistent, but everything has just panned out for her this prep.”

Monegal will be one of two Scone runners for Bateup, along with Divine Breath in the benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m).

Divine Breath has been thereabouts without winning but will appreciate getting back on a firmer surface and dropping back in distance after being tested over 1500m on a heavy track last start.

“They will both acquit themselves well,” Bateup said.

“They’re tough races, full fields, you’re going to need that luck in running and things to fall into place but if they get the right run, they are both capable of being there at the business end.”

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