By Tony Megahey
Veteran trainer Tas Morton is convinced Star Of Legs was unlucky not to finish closer at Canterbury Park and says it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for stablemate Don’t Nicme to provide the quinella in the prestigious Gooree Cup at Mudgee’s TAB meeting on Saturday.
The $40,000 1600m traditional feature, sponsored by the profile Gooree Park Stud, has again drawn the best performed regional stayers. Widden and Coolmore Studs also sponsor events for a booming industry raceday at the popular town, 270km north-west of Sydney.
Left: Star of Legs (Grant Buckley) - the gelding will be hard to beat at Mudgee on Saturday. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Morton, the Port Macquarie Vietnam veteran and real estate agent, has been successful at city and provincial races of late, with Star Of Legs (third) and Don’t Nicme both competitive in the same Canterbury race recently won by Beretta. Stablemate New Divide won at Wyong.
Tas, with numerous city winners over many years, had nominated all three for the Cup but accepted with Star Of Legs and Don’t Nicme, while New Divide will race elsewhere.
“I’m a chance to quinella the race for sure; the Canterbury runs were solid, with better luck and a different ride, Star Of Legs might even have won,” Morton offered.
“Just 54 kilos and 54.5 kilos on Saturday is plenty in our favour. I just don’t think there’s any way the topweights can give my pair, four and five kilos. Not on their Canterbury runs anyway, because I don’t believe there’s much between these country stayers.”
Star Of Legs is a back marker, while Don’t Nice races on pace. Star Of Legs will be ridden by Daniel Northey and Allan Chau on Don’t Nicme.
“Star Of Legs has been up a while but thrives on racing, the Canterbury placing tells you that - he’s won seven for me now and plenty of placings. Don’t Nicme is a proven bush open company horse and he’s been competitive in city midweeks.
“Don’t Nicme has drawn wide so we’ll push forward there, Star Of Legs has an inside draw but he gets back anyway.”
Race favourites will be recent Warwick Farm winner Pirate Ben and Gerald Ryan’s last start Canberra winner, Tenorino.