Morrison looking to repay faith with first G1 win


John Morrison isn’t one to get ahead of himself, but it’s hard for him not to be excited about a potential first Group 1 win at Addington on Friday night.

In a strong show of faith, West Melton trainer Malcolm Shinn has stuck with Morrison as the driver on his good mare Seaswift Joy in the $100,000 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes.

It’s not just a tokenistic gesture, either.

She’s a horse of immense ability that has been starved of good draws and average luck for most of the summer.

Last start, in the Mares Championship a fortnight ago, Seaswift Joy ran the second fastest last half and quarter in the race despite finishing eighth.

It was just a continuation of what has become the norm for her and her connections all season, but Morrison is confident that changes this week.

“I think she’s got her best chance that she’s had in a big race for the past three or four months.

“She’s been getting bad draws which have led to bad luck.

“Once you are four back on the markers, or last, you just can’t get in to the race.”

The confidence out of the camp is high heading in to this week due to the draw, increased fitness and a more suitable staying trip over the 2600 metres.

“I’m really happy with the draw and I know Malcolm has been happy with her since that last run.

“I don’t know what he’s thinking for this week; he usually leaves it up to me so we’ll have to wait and see.

“She’s probably better than what most people think; she’s actually a pretty good horse.

“Her best asset is that she’s so versatile – she can stay but also has a very good sprint.

“She’s probably a better stayer, which is I why I think she’ll be right in it this week.

“Those long-distance trips are more up her alley.”

Morrison says race favourite Bonnie Joan is the toughest to beat, as well as northern visitor Utmost Delight, but the draw advantage is in Seaswift Joy’s favour.

“Utmost Delight went bloody good last start and Bonnie Joan will be tough again, but we are very lucky that they have both drawn the second line and we’re in two.”

On Shinn, Morrison says he is indebted to the trainer for giving him a chance to prove his worth on the big stage when he could easily have opted for a senior driver.

“He said to me at the start of the season that when she comes back from up north with James Stormont that I’ve got the drive on her in the big races.

“He said I need a good horse to help kick-start my driving career – he’s been bloody good in that regard.”

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