The well performed Morton’s Fork is one of a two pronged attack trainer John O’Shea has lined up in the Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Morton’s Fork is a winner of four of his nine race starts and will be resuming from a spell after winning the Group 2 $250,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown at the end of the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“The only time he’s missed a place he was very unlucky and he confirmed that by going on to win the Sandown Guineas,” O’Shea said.
“The Australian Guineas is his target, I expect him to run well on Saturday, but he’ll be better for the run.”
O’Shea will also saddle up another Godolphin runner in Trenchant who is also resuming after not having raced since running seventh to his stablemate Peacock in the Listed $120,000 Polytrack Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 15.
“He’s done all his racing in Melbourne and has won a stakes race down there, so he’ll probably stay there this prep,” O’Shea said.
“All going well, he’ll also go to the Australian Guineas.”
Morton’s Fork and Trenchant will be aimed towards the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 4 and O’Shea expects both colts to race well in the Ladbrokes Manfred Stakes.
In early betting for the Manfred Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Morton’s Fork is sharing the second line of betting with the Tony McEvoy trained Hey Doc at $5 just behind Lindsay Park’s Derryn at $4.80 while Trenchant is marked as one of the outsiders of the field at $31.
Hey Doc will be having his first run back since finishing fourth to Comin’ Through in the Group 3 $200,000 The Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 29 while Derryn hasn’t been seen since running seventh to Flying Artie in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 29.