Tamworth conditioner Cody Morgan will have at least two runners in the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko at Royal Randwick on October 16 and he isn’t rushing either galloper’s preparation either as he prepares to have both Edit and Ice In Vancouver ready and raring come race day.
“Yeah, it’s like a grand final, that’s the only way to look at it,” Morgan said.
“You are there to represent the slot holder and owners. You can’t have them peaking six weeks out and the plan is to have them ready for the big day.”
Morgan’s duo will be up against it, taking on the likes of 2019 winner Handle The Truth and recent Country Championship winners Art Cadeau and Victorem, although the Tamworth trainer wasn’t fazed by these challengers.
“All we can ask is for them to peak on the day and I’m comfortable with both horses that have been picked,” Morgan said.
“All being fair, Handle The Truth and Victorem look to be five lengths better than the rest of the horses picked so far, but we will have our two firing a lot closer to the final.”
There is a lot of interest around Edit – the Australian Bloodstock owned and New Zealand raced galloper – that is yet to have a start in Australia.
A winner two times from six starts, the Swiss Ace gelding greeted the judge first at Ellerslie and Pukekohe late last year before making the move to Morgan’s yard.
Since then, the five-year-old won a Scone trial over the 900m back in July, before a good third by My Benalla and Mr Hussill over 1000m late last month.
Edit was meant to make his Australian debut at Tamworth on August 30, but was a late scratching before the race, which was subsequently won by Superior Witness, and now Morgan is preparing Edit for a Scone debut on September 24.
“Under the rules, you have to had one NSW start before racing in The Kosciuszko and he would have had one if it wasn’t for a freak accident where he hit his head at Tamworth and was a late scratching,” Morgan said.
“He is over it now and we plan to race him at Scone on the 24th (of September).”
Morgan believed Edit would go well in The Kosciuszko but has also earmarked him as a potential Country Championships horse.
“Without winning a Country Championships, I have been to three of them and know what you need to win one, and I think he will be a terrific horse for that 1400m,” Morgan said.
“Then last year in The Kosciuszko, having three in the race, I worked out a horse like Ligulate wasn’t sharp enough for 1200m, where a horse like this (Edit) looks the right horse over 1200m.”
Morgan said Edit would get a somewhat quiet hit out at Scone, allowing the stable to have their charge cherry ripe for his October mission.
“We will be going to Scone where he will get a massive weight, which won’t be ideal, but I will leave the blinkers off him, ride him really cold there, let him hit the line and that will give us 21 days into The Kosciuszko,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s second Kosciuszko contender is Ice In Vancouver.
The lightly raced four-year-old is a winner of three races from six starts, including a victory in the $50,000 John Clift Memorial Sprint over the 1000m at Tamworth back in April.
The Vancouver gelding did run in The Kosciuszko in 2020, starting a $17 chance before finishing last.
“He pulled up with a heart fibrillation, which is pretty common now and he is well and truly over that and I’m just rapt to see him get picked for the race,” Morgan said.
“I was a bit concerned he might not get picked after finishing last, but he is definitely up to a race like this.”
Morgan also has Mo’s Crown waiting in the wings, and he believed all three gallopers would do the stable proud if given the opportunity to race for a share in $1.3 million.
“The first horse of mine picked was Ice In Vancouver, but I tried not to get too involved and stayed impartial,” Morgan said.
“I’ve got a lot of owners and need to do the right thing by them. Edit and Ice In Vancouver deserve their chance but it would be nice to see Mo’s Crown get picked up.
“He will go around in town on Saturday and hopefully he does enough to get picked.”
As of Wednesday, 11 or the 14 slots for The Kosciuszko have been picked, and readers can click here to read more about the challengers.