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Morgan Seeks Kosciuszko Confidence Boost With Vancouver

By Ray Hickson

Trainer Cody Morgan would like the wet track question answered with one of his leading Kosciuszko hopefuls Ice In Vancouver at Randwick on Saturday so he can aim at the $1.3m feature later this year with confidence.

Trainer Cody Morgan (Pic: Bradley Photos)

It’s a question he suspects he already knows the answer to but Morgan says a podium finish in the City Tattersalls Club Handicap (1000m) will be enough to settle any doubts given the Kosciuszko is run at Randwick.

“If anything I’m hoping we get the rain and we go down there on a heavy track because I don’t hold any fears at 1000m on a heavy track,’’ he said.

“Everything he has done at home suggests he will handle it. If he was to fail maybe it’d be the track but I’m going there confident he will handle it.

“He worked terrific here on Tuesday and I’d be going down hoping he can run top three because I feel that will keep him on the radar for the Kosciuszko.

“Regardless of what he does, because we haven’t seen him on the heavy, we’ll still be coming home knowing he’s still one of my top seeds for a race like that.”

Ice In Vancouver has won three of his four starts and the only failure was in last year’s Kosciuszko where he finished last after suffering cardiac arrhythmia.

Morgan said it all may have come a bit too soon for the promising three-year-old but he couldn’t have been more impressive on his return with a runaway win under 61kg over 1000m at Tamworth back on April 23.

On the back of that win the gelding was $3 favourite with TAB (on Thursday), he’s $11 in the Kosciuszko all-in market, to pass what the trainer sees as an important test.

“You can’t really count the Kosciuszko but in the other runs he hasn’t been exposed to any horses that can really gallop,’’ Morgan said.

“So if he went down and brought his A-game and ran second or third I wouldn’t be disappointed in him because I know that he’s going to strengthen up and be a lot better horse in six months.

“He always takes a little while between runs. He puts a lot in and so it takes him a bit to bounce out the other side but I think once he gets older he should be able to race every couple of weeks.”

While Ice In Vancouver was scratched from last week’s Class 3 Highway at Rosehill that was largely due to the wide barrier and an “ugly speed map” but Morgan has no such concern about barriers at the Randwick 1000m.

However, in an effort to have an extra ace up his sleeve, he elected to book Louise Day to take an extra 2kg off the horse’s back.

“The whole idea was to claim so if he did have to do a bit of work in the run I feel comfortable being 8kg underneath them. I think that will help,’’ he said.

Ice In Vancouver wins at Tamworth on April 23

As Morgan alluded, Ice In Vancouver is one of several horses he’s planning to offer up as contenders for the Kosciuszko.

The others are Wren’s Day, who in four starts for Morgan hasn’t finished worse than second, and recent recruits Mo’s Crown, who was purchased by Australian Bloodstock, and Macleay, who was placed behind subsequent Group winner Kiku at his last start.

“We’re very thankful to Racing NSW because we wouldn’t be able to attract these horses to Tamworth,’’ Morgan said.

“Wren’s Day is going to have 55kg and he’s a 95 rater that we’ve trained as a six or seven furlong horse. Mo’s Crown will start off maybe in the Ramornie.

“Ice In Vancouver galloped with Mo’s Crown and went with him so it gives you the confidence that he has got the ability.”

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Randwick meeting

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