Morrison answers the Manawatu call

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Canterbury reinsman John Morrison has answered the call of Central Districts harness racing and will fly north to Palmerston North on Tuesday to drive at Manawatu Raceway.

Many of the circuit’s regular drivers are under COVID-19 travel restrictions in Auckland and Waikato and therefore absent from Tuesday’s race book, and with a shortage of drivers based in the region, Morrison has answered the call for reinforcements from the south.

While he hasn’t been a regular at the Palmerston North track, Morrison said he has enjoyed driving at the venue in the past.

“I have driven up there before, but it has been a while,” he said.

“I think the last time was the Australasian (Junior Driver) Champs a couple of years ago and I won a race while I was up there.

“I quite liked driving on the track up there, I don’t mind small track racing. They are very even horses up there, so it is quite competitive.”

Morrison will have six drives on the seven-race card, including four for Bulls trainer Doug Gale.

The stable is in good form heading into Tuesday, particularly juveniles Raging Whitebait and Call Security.

Call Security will be vying for back-to-back victories after breaking through for his maiden win at the Palmerston North track earlier this month, and Morrison is hoping for a repeat performance in the Masterton Club Manawatu Graduation Final (2000m).

“They won last start, so they are obviously in good form, hopefully they can keep that up,” Morrison said.

Stablemate Raging Whitebait looks a solid chance of scoring their first win in the Connie Stewart NZ Sotheby’s International Realty Mobile Pace (2000m) after posting two placings in their first two career starts.

“He has got reasonable form and has been going some good races. Hopefully we can do the same again,” Morrison said.

Morrison will also drive fellow Gale-trained runner Mac’s Tomado in the meeting’s feature, the Mad Butcher Wairarapa Cup (2000m).

“I haven’t driven him before, so I don’t know a lot about him, but he has a wee bit of a form,” he said.

“It is hard to get a line on them when you haven’t driven them before.”

Morrison’s other three drives include Haka Pride in the PGG Wrightson Handicap Trot (2500m), Dramatist in the “Lather Up” Fillies & Mares Speed Series Mobile Pace (1609m), and Rory McIlroy in the Osborne Group Chartered Accountants Mobile Pace (2000m).

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