By Tony Megahey
Taree–Wingham Racecourse has weathered the storms, according to Vietnam war veteran Tas Morton, who is confident of a surface upgrade and the prospects of his tough last start winner Don’t Nicme in a Manning Valley $20,000 TAB 1600m open feature event.
Capacity fields, the regions strongest stables, including multiple Group winners Paul Perry and Kris Lees, along with premiership trainer Neil Godbolt, have big numbers throughout Friday’s nine race TAB Country programme.
“I haven’t seen it stronger up here, trainers are out in force because they’ve missed so much racing and preps because of the region’s wash outs,” offered Morton who was a field ambulance officer in Vietnam in 1969, and trains a small team at Port Macquarie.
His stayer Don’t Nicme, a last start Kempsey winner, is adept on rain affected tracks, and has performed creditably in a city TAB Highway event.
“We’ll get an upgrade to a heavy eight or better I reckon, because it’s clearing weather and it’s a really good all-weather track,” Morton said.
“We lost most of the last meeting here but that was because of poor visability, the track was playing okay. “But the wetter the better for my bloke - he doesn’t go a yard on hard tracks.”
Don’t Nicme with 59.5kg for Peter Graham is sharing favouritism with track specialist and performed stayer Halfway To Heaven, and in form Explosive Scene and Mosgiel Ruby. Marc Quinn’s Explosive Scene is also a noted wet tracker and was runner up to highly rated Snappy One in a Randwick TAB Highway on heavy going.
“Halfway to Heaven is the class and the one to beat, third up and fitter and loves this track," Morton said. "And they all get through it top of the weights here."
“We’ve beat both Explosive Scene and Mosgiel Ruby up here recently and we’re well off at the weights compared to them.”
Morton has no concerns about a wide barrier for Don’t Nicme.
“We’ll go forward, he’s an on pacer, race fit, if we can get a bit of cover and get last crack, he’ll be hard to beat again.”