Cody Morgan isn’t the first person to become emotional after winning a race but he has more reason to than most.
The former jockey celebrated his first city win as a trainer when Bulls `N’ Bears arrived in the final bound to nose out Noble Joey in the TAB Bill Rutledge Tribute Highway Handicap.
It wasn’t just the victory that prompted his tears.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Morgan became the first trainer charged following changes to the NSW Crimes Act which allowed for persons found guilty of fraudulent conduct or potentially affecting the betting outcome of a race to be jailed for a maximum 10 years.
The Tamworth horseman was arrested and charged for allegedly stomach tubing Prussian Secret before the 2013 Gunnedah Cup, prompting its scratching.
The matter is still before the courts.
While Morgan relinquished his trainer’s licence for a period he has been allowed to resume his career until the legal proceedings are finalised.
“This is the greatest thrill of my life,” Morgan said.
“I know it’s only half the prize money (of a regular city race) but for someone like me it means the world.
“I said to my dad the other day when we were joking around that I’m just happy to be wearing a suit somewhere else besides court.”
Bulls `N’ Bears did most of his racing for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig in Victoria before joining Morgan two starts ago.
There was some doubt about his eligibility for Saturday’s race which is restricted to horses who have been trained in the NSW country region since August 31.
It took a phone call from chief steward Ray Murrihy to confirm Bulls `N’ Bears met the criteria – by six days.
Saturday’s meeting was marred by the death of Kasiano Lad who collapsed during the final 100m of the Road Tech Marine Handicap and was euthanased.
Tommy Berry was dislodged in the incident and stood down from his remaining rides.
He complained of a sore neck and was sent for precautionary X-rays.