Morton hoping star Perth sprinter is Elite
Trainer Danny Morton has declared he will be doing cartwheels if star Perth sprinter Elite Street can win the Group One Black Caviar Lightning.
But Morton won’t be doing them at Flemington, or even back at his home track of Ascot.
He will instead be performing them in a Melbourne street as due to Racing Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions, he is not allowed to be trackside at Flemington.
Morton has been in Melbourne since last Sunday but is not permitted to visit a racing stable or track until this Sunday, so he has had to liaise with Caulfield trainer Nick Ryan over the training of Elite Street.
Elite Street has been first past the post at his last six starts but lost one of them due to a positive swab.
At his most recent appearance, he won the Group One Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in November.
“I’m under no illusions that the challenge we’re facing is a big one,” Morton said.
“His Winterbottom win though was no fluke and he’s an above-average sprinter.”
Morton has already claimed a Lightning Stakes in 2009 with his world-class galloper Scenic Blast.
He can see similarities between the two sprinters but says Elite Street is still relatively untapped.
“They both have similar racing patterns. We’re still finding out how much potential Elite Street has,” Morton said.
“No question, he’s got to keep progressing to a race like this. He hits the line and is always competitive though.”
Mark Zahra will partner Elite Street and will be bidding for successive wins after scoring aboard Gytrash last year.