Trainer set for Boxing Day raid

PORT Macquarie trainer Tas Morton will attempt to steal one of Wauchope’s biggest crowns and bring the Woop Woop Cup back to the east side of the Pacific Highway on Boxing Day.

The daring raid will be attempted with one of the horses close to Morton’s heart.

Seven-year-old gelding Belaction is the older brother of one of Morton’s premiere horses, Juggah Hill, which had to be put down earlier this year after suffering a bad injury in the Port Macquarie Cup prelude.

Juggah Hill had 19 starts for six races before its untimely end.

The fact that Belaction is racing is a fluke, as the gelding was retired in 2010 due to injury.

He had been promising, having won three races in a row early in its career.

“As this friend was moving and had no room to keep Belaction, I decided as he looked so well that I would give him another race career,” Morton said.

It goes into the race as top weight, being ridden by Gabrielle Coleman. Morton said the cup, although a relatively small non-TAB meeting, was one of his favourites.

“I’ve lived in the area for 40-odd years and this race in particular has become a bit of a tradition,” he said.

“It’s always nice to get a couple of winners at this meet. It’s a good race and a fun day. It’s a good chance to kick back, relax and have a few beers.”

Morton’s racing career started back in 1969, when he had his first win in Port Macquarie with Wayside Price.

The trainer was on his way to boot camp for national service before being sent to Vietnam, when news came through of the win. He spent 12 months in Vietnam before returning home and picking up his racing career where he left off.

Morton has had countless winners since and said it’s the adrenaline rush that keeps him coming back for more.

“I just love it,” he said. “I get the same feeling now when I get a winner as I did when I first started.

“Plus the company from everyone in the racing industry. They are all good people.”

Catch Belaction in action at the Wauchope Race Club on Boxing Day.

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