MORTON GIVES ELITE STREET THE BIG TICK

3
Mar

Perth trainer Dan Morton hasn’t given up on Elite Street and expects his classy four-year-old to bounce back and produce a strong rebound performance in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

First-up in Melbourne and off the back of a Group 1 triumph on his home track at Ascot last November, Elite Street suffered internal bleeding and finished an underwhelming last behind Nature Strip in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.

It was the worst performance of Elite Street’s nine start career and a far cry from his previous victory in Perth’s premier sprint race, the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), a Group 1 win that came less than five months after winning his maiden at Belmont.

Although Elite Street’s Melbourne debut didn’t go to plan, Morton is forgiving of the run and after a rousing Flemington jump out last week, he expects the Street Boss gelding to redeem himself and show his true colours in the Newmarket.

“Obviously we have a fair amount of ground to make up after things didn’t go our way in the Lightning, but since then he has literally not put a foot wrong,” Morton said on Tabradio.

“He trialed down the straight on Friday and it was good. He worked down the straight again this morning (Tuesday) on the course proper with Brad Parnham.

“He was really pleased with the work, so I feel like we are back in the ball game.

“It was pretty hard to swallow what happened in the Lightning, but we have been down that path before and you have to suck it up and get it right.

“It went pear-shaped for him, but it wasn’t because they were too good for him, I think he just turned up on the day in not the right head space.

“I think he was a shot duck before the gates opened, he had himself pretty wound up.

“Put that one aside he hasn’t missed a beat since, he’s in good shape and I’m confident he will turn up and go great.

“With a bit of luck, we will be there when the whips are cracking.”

While Morton is in Melbourne overseeing Elite Street’s campaign, he will also closely monitor Kissonallforcheeks at Bunbury.

Hoping for an interstate feature double, Kissonallforcheeks will line up in the Listed Breeders’ Classic (1400m) on Saturday.

“I’m really pleased with her,” Morton said.

“We’ve been quite excited by her and it looks to be a nice race for her.”

Julio Santarelli