DESERT Bunny might make his racing swansong in Saturday’s $12,500 Barraba Cup (1400m).
The Cody Morgan-owned- and-trained gelding, winner of eight of his 34 starts and more than $122,000 in prizemoney, has had two runs back from an 11-month break but is yet to show Morgan he has retained a zest for racing.
Desert Bunny, an eight-year-old son of Desert Prince, will carry the 59.5kg Barraba Cup topweight.
“It’s the least of his problems,” a down-to-earth Morgan said this week.
“He broke down at the end of his last preparation and hasn’t come back up again this time in.
“I’m pretty much taking him up to try to race him back into form.
“If he runs an improved race I will keep him in work.
“If he doesn’t and races like he has been lately it will most likely be his last race.
“I’ve got the strongest rider in the race on him too – Lynchie (Glenn Lynch).”
The Group 1-winning jockey, based in Tamworth, will be able to give Morgan a suitable assessment of how he feels racewise.
It could make it a nostalgic day for the young owner-trainer who is in the process of setting up his own training property on the northern outskirts of Attunga.
“He has been a great horse to me,” he said.
“When you buy a horse like him (winless) who wins eight races and $100,000 for you you’ve got to be happy.
“I just don’t know where that $100,000 has gone,” he laughed.
Desert Bunny was part of a huge October weekend in 2010 for Morgan when he won the 2000m Port Macquarie Cup on the Friday and Prussian Secret won the Coonamble Cup on the Sunday.
“I was in Perth working for Fred Kersley for three months,” Morgan said.
“That was a great experience but, while it was a terrific weekend, I was over there and not able to be here to enjoy it more.”
While he starts Desert Bunny for maybe his last time, Morgan would be going to Barraba anyway.
“I reckon it’s the best day in the Hunter and North West,” he said.
“I love it up there – they put on a great day and it’s one of those places I’d go even if I didn’t have a horse.”
So if Desert Bunny cannot win has he a Cup tip?
“I can’t see anyone beating Maso’s pair,” he said of Tamworth trainer Mark Mason’s Cup nominees Emotional Outburst and Rhens.
Mason also hails from Barraba.
“He’s like Bart Cummings and the Melbourne Cup at Barraba,” Morgan added.
“You just can’t beat him. He could quinella it if he starts them both.”
Acceptances for Saturday’s Barraba Cup close at 9am today along with acceptances for Come-By-Chance Picnics.