Dan Morton is adamant that Man Booker can bounce back from his last-start failure and earn redemption in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Morton believes Man Booker will return to his best after an uncustomary poor run in the Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) when he finished 13th of 17 and was well beaten behind The Bostonian.
Morton went into the Kingsford-Smith Cup full of confidence after Man Booker ran a sound race in the Doomben 10,000 when he ran on strongly for eighth, beaten less than three lengths.
“He was back in the ruck and didn’t get an opportunity to come on,” Morton told Tabradio.
“Whether he was going to or not you don’t know and you walk away scratching your head.
“If you take a line through the start before he really rattled to the line good.
“Out to a 1400 hundred is nearly his pet distance for this bloke and I’m confident.
“He will step into the race in good order and with luck in running and a handy gate will be a bonus.
“He did a really nice piece of work on the course proper this morning (Tuesday) and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Man Booker, a son of Discorsi, has won 10 of 24 races and is fast closing in on one million dollars in prize money.
The six-year-old was sidelined for a year with a hoof injury before making an impressive return at Ascot last spring.
Man Booker won the Listed Farnley Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 Northerly Stakes in successive races in September and October.
He also ran fifth to star mare Galaxy Star in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
Morton, who has had success in Queensland previously with Scenic Shot, said tackling Brisbane’s winter carnival had been on his radar for some time.
“I had been eyeing these races with this horse for a while,” Morton said.
“A couple of weight for age sprints and a big handicap where we get in with a good weight.
“You can always stay home and run in easier races, but I don’t mind stretching the envelope.
“It holds no fears for me coming over and having a crack.
“I’m not here just to make up the numbers.
“I’m thinking I’m here with a realistic chance.”