Morrison out to extend lead
By Jonny Turner
John Morrison will take his junior driver’s premiership quest in to his own hands at Addington on Sunday.
Morrison has the chance to extend his one win lead in the national competition with six drives, including two from his own stable.
The trainer-driver will attempt a repeat of Standout’s impressive win in his first start from his West Melton barn.
A slow beginning was not enough to stop the 4yr-old from powering home to win over 2000m, at Addington last month.
Morrison is hopeful Standout can measure up when he steps up in both distance and class on Sunday in race 6.
“It was a nice win last time, but this is quite a big step up in class.”
“I think he can measure up to them, but it will depend on the kind of run he gets.”
“He can’t afford to do too much work, because he is more of a sprinter.”
Harrison will make his debut from Morrison’s stable in race 2.
The 4yr-old comes in to the 2600m standing start after running third in an Ashburton qualifying trial, last month.
Harrison’s lack of ring craft leading in to his debut is Morrison’s biggest concern.
“He is a bit of a big, dumb bugger – he is probably six months away from his best.”
“But, he is good enough to compete and if he gets away, which he seems to do, hopefully he can hit the line.”
“I would say he is a top five chance.”
Morrison will reunite will Champagneandwine following her narrow second to Sagano at Addington last weekend for trainer Malcolm Shinn.
The standing start specialist steps up from 2000m to 2600m, which Morrison thinks will suit her even better.
“The 2600m should suit her even better because she is a stayer, she is a nice mare that is better over the longer distances.”
“Hopefully she can step well, which she usually does, and she can be thereabouts.”
“She has been really consistent and hopefully she just holds that form.”
“We have put blinds on her this week, too, so that should sharpen her up a bit, too.”
Champagneandwine clashes with impressive debut winner American Sniper in race 5.
Morrison combines with Sunnivue Philleah, who treks north after producing consistent form in Southland recently.
Though the junior driver has not driven the mare, he has seen plenty of her recently.
“I have driven in a lot of the races she has been in and she has being going nice.”
“If we get a nice run somewhere – she is more of a one run type by the looks of her – she should be right there.”
Time In A Bottle in race 1 and Gottagettabeer in race 8 look outside chances for Morrison.
“Time In A Bottle has been looking for a short distance and she has finally got it.”
“She can trot a bit, but you just don’t know which one is going to turn up.”
“Gottagettabeer is probably one to watch when the grass tracks start up, I’d say.”