High hopes for Morrison
GOLD Coast trainer Trevor Bailey hopes a cross-border trip to Lismore will finally bring winning rewards for Morrison, a high-priced yearling who has failed to live up to his early boom.
Now a four-year-old, the son of champion sire Redoute's Choice lines up in the Fundamental Food Maiden (1516m) with leading jockey Glen Colless in the saddle.
Morrison is owned by Germany-based Stephan Hoffmeister who purchased him in December last year from Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation.
“He cost about $600,000 or $700,000 as a yearling at the Magic Million sales but Stephan got him after he'd had a couple of minor placings in Victoria,” Bailey said.
“Since then he's grown half a hand, put on 50 kilos and is finally starting to furnish and mature.
“He's a horse that probably should have won a race by now, hopefully (today) he can break the duck.”
Bailey said Morrison had been his own worst enemy until this preparation.
“He used to get so wound up before races, he'd run his race before getting to the track,” Bailey said.
“Last preparation I wouldn't have dreamed putting him on a float for a couple of hours but the trip should do him some good now.
“In a country atmosphere he won't get as stirred up and he's just starting to come into his own, learning finally to become a racehorse.
“It's finally getting into his head what he's supposed to do.
“This time in he's shown us he should get better over a bit of ground.”
Morrison has faced the starter on nine occasions, gaining four placings, including his past two runs at the Gold Coast.
“First up this time (Gold Coast, July 17) he was a certainty beaten,” Bailey said.
“We had a kid on him and he had no luck at all.
“He ran good second up when runner-up to Just Elvis then last start he got through the slow ground better than he had previously to finish third.
“Stepping up to 1516 metres (today) should suit him provided the track isn't too wet.”
Two starts back Morrison finished a long neck second to Just Elvis over 1400m then was beaten a long neck and short head behind Catalan Miss and Chloe's Dream over 1400m at the Gold Coast on August 14 when he battled on after hitting the front inside the 150m.