Sporty Charlie turns heads in debut win
By Jonny Turner
Sporty Charlie captured plenty of attention leading into his debut at Young Quinn Raceway last week and lived up to the hype around him with an outstanding winning performance.
But the victory at very short odds wasn’t without a few nervous moments for everyone involved.
The Brad Morris trained pacer enjoyed a perfect run in the trail with driver Brent Barclay before being badly held up on the home turn while the leader Unsurpassable skipped four lengths in front.
But as soon as he got clear Sporty Charlie unwound to win easily showing he was a horse with a touch of class about it.
“It is not very often when a horse comes back on top of you that you can pick them up,” Morris said.
“But he showed a bit of dash the last 100m.”
Sporty Charlie’s excellent workout and trial performances created the buzz around him ahead of his first start.
It was on the workout track earlier this year that Morris thought he had a quality horse on his hands.
“He is still pretty green, I think he will get better, too.”
“The first workout I gave him at the start of the year he went 3.10 (for 2400m) and he ran his last half (800m) in 57.1sec.”
“I always thought he was a nice horse, but when he did that first time off the place, I thought he might be better than I thought he was.”
“Time has been good for him too, I didn’t put too much pressure on him early, I just turned him out and brought him back in over the winter time.”
Sporty Charlie’s win was an all-family affair.
Morris races the pacer with his brother Justin and mother Lynley, who got a birthday thrill from Sporty Charlie’s win.
The victory also served as an early birthday present for Morris himself, who turned another year older on Sunday.
Sporty Charlie is by Sportwriter from Flashonbye, who is from a family developed by Morris’ grandfather, Ron Macdonald.
“It is a good family, it’s my grandfather’s family and there have been some not-bad horses out of it.”
Sporty Charlie starts in a small but smart graduation final at the Northern Southland meeting on Saturday.
Following his debut win Morris was opting for a patient early season approach with the pacer.
“I will probably give him a couple more starts and then give him a freshen up.”
“He is not paid up for anything, he will just hang around down south.”
Morris confirmed there had been interest in Sporty Charlie from overseas buyers but he and his family weren’t tempted by any offers so far.