Day At The Track

Morrison tickled pink

07:53 AM 28 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Standout winning the Gore Cup, Harness racing
Standout winning the Gore Cup
Bruce Stewart photo

Standout provided young West Melton trainer John Morrison with his biggest payday to date in his short training career when he took out the $15,000.00 2020 Mataura Licensing Trust Gore Cup yesterday.

Morrison is still driving in the junior drivers ranks but has held a license to train since 2018 and yesterday Standout was his sixty eighth starter and ninth winner.

He’s had the five year old since June, Standout having begun his career with Ian Munro who won one race with him.

“I was lucky to get the horse readymade. He’s done a good job in a short space of time,” said Morrison who’s driven him in all of his twenty five starts with the first win being at Addington.

“Ian had only sent him up to me five days before so I didn’t have to do anything.”

In the birdcage with Cheryl and Ian Munro (left)         -Photo Bruce Stewart

Prior to yesterday’s win the Stunin Cullen gelding had won on the grass at the Geraldine meeting, and he’d come in second on the grass at Oamaru, so it was surprising he went out as sixth favourite.

Prior to the start Morrison gave him a practice standing start in the home straight, and had to tap him up to get his mind on the job.

“He’s a laid back customer but he can be the opposite at times and get a bit fired up.”

In  yesterday’s pacing feature Standout settled fifth on the inside running line with I’mallaboutthebase taking up the leaders role.

“I just tried to keep him as relaxed as possible over the long trip. He did relax.”

At the 400 Morrison had to push  through a number of gaps and in turning in he got onto the back of Franco Santino. He squeezed through tight quarters between Franco Santino and Tartan Robyn, came home three out from the inside and got up to beat a game Mucho Macho Man by half a length.

“When I asked him he went. He’s always had a bit of speed. His manners were a problem at one stage but he’s alright now so Ian and Cheryl have done a great job to get him to where he is now.”

Morrison says he plans to start the gelding at the upcoming Roxburgh meeting before heading to Cromwell.


Bruce Stewart

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