Hear us, Laud
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
EARLIER this year Tamworth trainer Glenn Morgan went to the tried horse sales on the Gold Coast and spied a then six-year-old called Laud Atlas.
"He was a beautiful horse and I could find nothing seriously wrong with him," Morgan said.
"Like all older horses I knew he might be a bit stiff in the joints, but apart from that he seemed OK.
"I thought I might have been able to have a bit of fun with him so I bought him."
He cost the princely sum of $1400.
Since then Laud Atlas has won the Forbes Cup, run a good fifth in the Taree Cup and won his last start at Grafton.
So far the return on that paltry $1400 has been $13,750 and today Morgan is looking for his biggest payout yet with the horse when Laud Atlas starts in the $40,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m).
And his son, leading apprentice Luke Morgan, will ride the horse.
Morgan, the younger brother of former top apprentice Cody Morgan, was the leading apprentice on the Hunter and North West last season ? and he had only started riding the previous Christmas.
He is also one of the three finalists for the Country Apprentice Of The Year to be announced in Sydney next week.
The Forbes Cup has been a good form race.
Give Way, the horse that ran second to Laud Atlas, has since run second at Randwick, while Wicked Wizard, which finished third, went on and won the Taree Cup.
Morgan said the secret to Laud Atlas' rejuvenation was his beef cattle property on the outskirts of Tamworth.
"I only take him to the track once or twice a week," Morgan said.
"The rest of the time I either swim him on our property or work him on a track we have here in a paddock of lucerne."
"He shares a paddock with some cows and just lives a lovely, relaxed life. In fact, he is so relaxed I can lead other horses off him and he doesn't turn a hair."
As a younger horse, Laud Atlas won three races in Sydney and was placed another three times there.
He was later switched to Brisbane and won over 1600 metres at Eagle Farm and 2020 metres at Doomben before being put on the market.
Despite now being a seven-year-old, Laud Atlas has only been lightly raced.
He has started 32 times for eight wins and six placings and Morgan hopes his $1400 purchase is going to produce a far bigger return yet.