Sydney’s big wet has forced a rethink and a change of plans for Perth trainer Dan Morton and his classy mare, Kissonallforcheeks.
The daughter of Written Tycoon created a big impression when she won the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400m) at Flemington two weeks ago, disposing of her rivals with an emphatic victory at her interstate debut.
Now in Sydney, Kissonallforcheeks has been entered for Saturday’s Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, but fearful of heavy track conditions Morton has opted to hold her back and target the Saturday week’s Doncaster Handicap (1600m) instead.
“It will be three straight weeks at Rosehill this Saturday and the track is very marked,” Morton told The Races WA.
“If I hold back a week it might be a better option to race at Randwick the following week on a better pad.
“It’s obviously not ideal, but I was really encouraged by the comments from Tom Berry after a track gallop yesterday (Tuesday).
“She worked on the Kensington track and Tommy said it was like a heavy 10 and she got through the going really good.
“She still wanted to go on the Perth leg, but once she balanced she really ran through the line really well.
“Tommy was glowing in his assessment afterwards and that gave me a lot of confidence.
“She’s in such good shape and she won’t be going around in the Doncaster just to make up the numbers.
“She is as good a horse I have trained or at least the best mare I have trained.
“I think she is a Group 1 horse in the making.”
Morton is hopeful of extending Kissonallforcheeks’ interstate campaign beyond the Doncaster.
“After the Doncaster she will back up and target the Queen Of The Turf Stakes a week later,” Morton.
“There are a range of good options for her if I go that way.”
Morton is on the lookout for a rider to partner Kissonallforcheeks in the Doncaster.
That search extended back home to Perth, but that option has been ruled out.
“A couple of the riders here (Sydney) already have commitments, but if you shake the tree I’m sure I’ll find a good one,” Morton said.
“I spoke to Chris Parnham in Perth, but he would have to waste too hard to ride at 51kg.”
Meanwhile, while Morton’s overseeing his top mare in Sydney, back home his stable team are preparing Alaskan God for Saturday’s Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) at Ascot.
The Playing God three-year-old has shot to prominence following a sequence of three straight wins and looms as a major fancy in Saturday week’s WA Derby (2400m).