A horse float must feel like a natural habitat to seasoned traveller Morton’s Fork.
Morton’s Fork has spent hundreds of hours on the road travelling up and down Australia’s eastern seaboard to race in any of four states.
Trainer Richard Litt considered another excursion to Melbourne for Saturday’s Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown but has instead opted to send Morton’s Fork north to race in Brisbane.
Saturday’s NAIDOC Celebration Race (2200m) at Doomben will mean another round trip of 1800m from Litt’s Warwick Farm stable.
But Litt said Morton’s Fork loves the travelling, which has added up to more than 8500km in a float in the last 13 months.
“He’s a fantastic traveller and an old marvel,” Litt said.
“He’s a great horse, we know he’ll travel well and he’ll do his best. We’re confident he’ll run well on Saturday.
“He’s been to Brisbane a couple of times and performed well there and he’s gone well against the top grade in Sydney.”
Morton’s Fork won the Group 2 Sandown Guineas for the Godolphin operation on the corresponding day four years ago before his owner paid $100,000 for him at a tried horse sale.
The now seven-year-old has more than doubled his purchase price in 12 months with his last-start third in the $500,000 Rosehill Cup boosting his earnings by $49,500.
Litt said that effort showed Morton’s Fork was back near his best for his latest bout of travelling, which could end up with a crack at a rich race at the Magic Millions carnival in Queensland in January.
“He’s getting on again a bit but he’s still holding his own. His last start was a ripper,” Litt said.
“He’ll be back here (in Sydney) for the ATC Cup and go to the Christmas Cup then go back to Brisbane to try to qualify for the Magic Millions again.
“If he doesn’t win on Saturday, he’ll go down to Moonee Valley in a couple of weeks. There’s a Benchmark 90 race there that will suit.”
Morton’s Fork hasn’t raced in Melbourne since an unlucky effort last spring but the gelding played a vital role in the Cox Plate preparation of former stable star Castelvecchio.
Castelvecchio enjoyed Morton’s Fork’s calm nature on his first trip away from home, which led to the colt running a terrific second to Japanese superstar Lys Gracieux in the Cox Plate.
“He is genuinely lovely horse and is a big pet,” Litt said.
“You don’t get many horses like him. He’s very special to us.”
Originally published asMorton’s Fork to hit the road again
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