The Battle for Trainers Title Hots Up by The Gurkha
Dan Morton has opened up this year’s battle for the Kalgoorlie Feed Barn Leading Trainers Award with a training treble last Sunday, moving to within three of the equal leaders Dean Nazzari and Peter Fernie.
Morton trained the last three winners on the program, taking his tally for the year to 11 and signalling a serious midyear challenge to the title.
The city based trainer has prepared seven KBRC winners in the past four weeks and saddled up the biggest number of horses (8) at any one meeting on Sunday, indicating he has plenty of ammunition to fire in the coming weeks.
Apart from his winners, Hussation, All West and Hartleys Hangover all ran encouraging races to finish in the placing’s and call all win in the near future.
Miss Heineken commenced the winning run for Morton and his apprentice Felicity Ives in the Woolibar Station Handicap (1200m) which was followed by back to back wins for Big Josh and Kyra Yuill in the Mines Rovers FC Handicap (1200m).
Madam Jewel was able to gain a last stride win over Maybe Us to win the Goldfields Reality Handicap (1400m) once again for apprentice Ives.
The low point of the day was a suspension handed down to Ives after her winning ride aboard Miss Heineken.
This time last years the Trainers Premiership was all but decided with Peter Fernie training 25 winners after the third meeting in July, ten clear of Aaron Bazeley on 15.
However this year the battle has intensified with Dean Nazzari making most of the early running along with Fernie, with Bazeley holding down third place.
Morton trained the winner of the very first race of the year with Cadia Street but had prepared only four winners after his double on June 10.
Since then he has roared into action and looms as a serious threat to Peter Fernie who responded with a double of his own on Sunday.
“Whilst winning the premiership was never a part of the plan-now it is so close we are looking at increasing our numbers up in Kalgoorlie.” Morton told The Gukha. “Originally this plan was all about placing our horses where they could return the best results for our owners.”
“It was also about attracting new owners to the stable and building a profile in the Goldfields. So far it has worked out well.”
“I’m really not sure we have the numbers to win the premiership but we’ll give it a go.”
“Big Josh is starting to put it all together up in Kalgoorlie and could develop into a Round horse. He has won to 2200 metres and has a touch of class about him.”
“Madam Jewel has always shown a bit and her trails leading into her win on Sunday were good enough.”
“Miss Heineken is another with handy provincial form before coming to Kalgoorlie and she is progressing nicely through the grades.”