Warwick Farm’s Richard Litt has come a long way in a short time as a trainer and gets a good chance to achieve another first at Eagle Farm.
Litt joined the Group One winners’ list when Castelvecchio won the Champagne Stakes during the autumn and is hoping the colt can step up again this spring.
A new stable acquisition, Morton’s Fork, will tackle a strong field in Saturday’s $105,000 Makers Mark Open Handicap (1800m) at Eagle Farm.
He will be Litt’s first runner in Brisbane and only his second in Queensland.
“The only time I have been to Queensland was with Il Mio Destino who won at the Gold Coast about two years ago,” Litt said.
Il Mio Destino later had a campaign in Queensland with David Vandyke but Litt has not been back.
“I have been wanting to get up to Brisbane for some time but when you are a small stable it is very hard,” he said.
“If things work out you might be seeing more of us in coming weeks.”
Morton’s Fork was a more than handy horse for his original owner, Godolphin, winning six races including the 2016 Sandown Guineas.
The gelding raced in stakes class as a three-year-old in Brisbane in 2017 but has not been back since.
He was bought by clients of Litt for $100,000 at the Gold Coast Sales in June.
“He is the type of horse we can have some fun with this season. Morton’s Fork was in the Kingston Town at Randwick on Saturday but it looked too strong at this stage of his career,” Litt said.
“The Brisbane race looks far more suitable.
“We gave him a short break after we got him and he has had a trial and a start so he should be getting there.”
Litt has put blinkers back on Morton’s Fork and booked leading Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne.
“His first run for us was just OK so the blinkers might help,” he said.
“At the moment we are looking at the Port Macquarie Cup in three weeks time but at this time of the year there are plenty on races around.”
Litt, who is from a well-known New Zealand racing family, originally came to Australia as an eventing competitor.
He took over his father Jim Litt’s Sydney racing stable about three years ago and has had a steady stream of winners since.
Not that Litt didn’t have plenty of experience before going out on his own as he had previous stints with Bart Cummings and John O’Shea.
“Things are going well but as a small stable we have to find races our horses can win,” he said.