World champion bronc rider trains first winner at Grafton
WINNING your first race as a trainer always provides a memorable moment.
For Tamworth based Luke Morgan, the 2015 world champion bronc rider, victory with Street Patrol at Grafton yesterday provided a huge thrill.
Morgan has only had a trainers' licence for three months since returning for a two-year-sojourn in America where he took on the best from around the world on the rodeo circuit. The stint proved highly successful.
Street Patrol, a four-year-old gelding, led throughout to win the Become A CRJC Member Maiden (1015m).
It was only Morgan's second ever starter.
Morgan, 26, is the brother of fellow Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan, and spent four years an apprentice before the 'battle of the bulge' beat his aspirations as a jockey.
"This is a great thrill, fabulous," Morgan said. "To get a winner so early is fantastic.
"When I came back from America I bought a property at Tamworth and decided to give training a go.
"I'm happy to play around with a couple of horses of my own. I still break in horses. That's what pays the bills."
Morgan, with his rodeo background, is aptly suited to breaking in thoroughbreds. Obviously he has an affinity with horses and like his brother is sure to make his mark in his new career.
Morgan, typical of his professional attitude, left nothing to chance in his quest for his first winner.
He walked the track on Sunday night to try and map out the best ground to compete on.
Street Patrol was never in danger railing like a greyhound in front over the 1000m scamper.
"He rolled across to the paint and just kept going," Morgan said. "He was out on his own and just kept going at the same speed."
The win was also a triumph for apprentice Melinda Graham, the daughter of Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham.
Graham had been out of the saddle for around four months after breaking her leg and sustaining other injuries in a bad race fall at Kempsey. Street Patrol was her first ride back.
Street Patrol was confidently supported going to the post the $3.50 second elect behind $2.40 favourite Milne Bay who finished fourth.