Port Macquarie trainer Tas Morton will rely on his proven wet-tracker Don't Nicme in Friday's Manning Valley Cup (1600m) at Taree and keep stablemate Star Of Legs for the Casino Cup on Saturday.
Morton nominated the two horses for both the Taree and Casino meetings, but has split the pair for different assignments. "Don't Nicme will be running at Taree and Star Of Legs is going to the Casino Cup," he said.
Left: Don't Nicme - will be a tough nut to crack on the rain-affected Taree track this Friday. Image by - Bradley Photographers
Morton said Don't Nicme would get the perfect track conditions to produce his best at Taree. The Taree track on Wednesday was rated a heavy 10 after receiving a total of 210mm over the last seven days. No further rain fell over the past 24 hours.
After three unplaced runs since resuming in January, Don't Nicme bounced back to winning form last start when he downed the $2.70 favourite Explosive Scene on a track rated a soft 6 at Kempsey on March 3.
"Don't Nicme's a wet-tracker and that's the key to him," said Morton. "He's had two runs in heavy ground and raced well both times. Friday's conditions at Taree should be ideal for him and I expect him to be very hard to beat."
Three of Don't Nicme's five career wins have been on soft or heavy tracks. It's been some time since he last raced in heavy ground, but both runs were good. The five-year-old won on a heavy 10 at Gosford back on August 25, 2015 then ran a 2.8 length fifth on a heavy 8 at Wyong on September 20, 2015.
One of Don't Nicme's main threats on Friday again looks to be the Marc Quinn-trained Explosive Scene. Explosive Scene didn't have the best of luck in the straight at Kempsey and did run well the last time he raced on a heavy 10 - finishing second to Snappy One in a Randwick Highway Hcp (1400m) on August 6 last year.
Friday's Taree meeting is now a nine-race program with the Class 2 Hcp (1250m) being split into two divisions. The first race is scheduled for 12:15pm.