Morton tips Ora ‘to go very close’

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Ascot trainer Dan Morton believes classy five-year-old Red Ora is forward enough to win Sunday’s $100,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint (1300m) at Mt Barker Turf Club as he resumes from a spell.

Red Ora won the Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) to go with placings in listed features the Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) and Pinjarra Classic (1300m) last preparation.

A winner at eight of his 19 career starts for more than $350,000 in prize money, Red Ora will start first-up in the region’s richest feature sprint race, with Chris Parnham engaged to ride.

Morton gave the Mungrup Stud-bred gelding a 1000m trial hit-out on January 9, finishing 3½ lengths off Woodbine.

“We mapped this out a long way back,” Morton said.

“This has been his target since last preparation.

“The trial the other day was a bit upside down to how I wanted, but it was still OK ... and he’s galloped well since.

“I think he is forward enough to win — he has a good record fresh.”

The Due Sasso gelding has won two of his four first-up attempts and will start from gate eight with 56kg on his back.

“If he is anywhere near right, he’ll go very close in this,” Morton said. “It’s a good field and an even sort of bunch.”

Star WA hoop William Pike adds further interest to the feature race as he rides the Darren McAuliffe-trained Rebel King.

Rebel King gets in on the 54kg minimum after running third to Malibu Style first-up in the R.S Crawford Stakes in December.

Pike has never won this race, while McAuliffe will be searching for his third success after previously winning the event with Spitfire Ace (2010) and Impressive Stats (2005).

Albany trainer Steve Wolfe has won this race twice and has veteran sprinter Tiger Pete engaged, who will contest this race for a fourth time, while veteran local trainer Dixie Solly saddles up Bindaree Lady and Blizzard Express.

The feature race is set down for 4.50pm on the nine-race card, which starts at 12.33pm and also includes the $20,000 Plantagenet Wines Handicap (1850m).

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