New Divide to travel the Highway

Tas Morton doesn’t like to dwell on his Vietnam experience, but every now and then he and his army mates get together to remember those who didn’t come home.

Such was the case on Thursday when the Port Macquarie trainer attended a commemoration on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

After the formalities of the occasion, Morton tipped his friends into New Divide at Randwick on Saturday with the horse at double figures for the Highway Plate (1600m).

“At the last veterans’ reunion we had, I tipped them Jenks at Randwick on Anzac Day and he won so hopefully it’s the same result again,” Morton said.

That was in 2007 and Morton has had plenty of winners since but believes Saturday’s 1600m-race is ideal for New Divide who was trained in Sydney as a young horse by Anthony Cummings.

“I got him from Goree,” Morton said. “I don’t usually buy second-hand horses but I thought he was one we could have a bit of fun with.

“I have scaled down and only have between six and eight horses which I race myself with friends.

“This horse gets in really well under the set weights conditions of the race.

“There’s five of them on 59 (kg) and in any other race he would be giving them weight so it’s ideal.

“The aim for him is the Port Macquarie Cup but he needs to get his rating up to about 70 to get in.

“I had him in one of these races two weeks ago but the track was too heavy so I decided to run him at Tamworth instead and of course the rain came there.

“He ran fourth and it was a good effort and he will improve on a better track.”

To be ridden by Christian Reith, New Divide is a $15 chance on Saturday with Morton already planning his weekend, win or lose.

“We’ll have a good night at Coogee before we go home,” he said.

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