Morendi dashes Honey Toast's Toowoomba Cup fairytale
MURWILLUMBAH raider Morendi put himself in the frame for further Queensland Winter Carnival honours after pulling off a last-stride victory in today's UBET Toowoomba Cup (2000m) at Clifford Park.
Morendi ($9) ended a Toowoomba Cup fairytale in the making for runner-up Honey Toast ($5) when he out-gunned his rivals for a nose victory in a deceptive photo finish.
Comeback gelding Honey Toast was aiming for his second home-town cup win to match his 2016 success and dug desperately in the closing stages for victory only to be denied by Morendi who lifted for jockey Michael Cahill.
First Crush ($31) was a half head away third.
Morendi is now trained by Darryl McCabe who took over the Onemorenomore five-year-old from Darren Graham after he picked up a four-month steward's ban in February.
Today's win was Morendi's fourth from his last five starts which also included an unlucky third at his previous Doomben outing.
Cahill is taken by Morendi's purple patch of form and believes further feature honours are within his reach.
"That was a very well-deserved win," Cahill said.
"He didn't have the best of runs.
"He got into a bit of trouble in the straight the first time but by the time we got to the bottom of the hill he relaxed.
"He was very strong on the line.
"I thought we just got there but I wasn't counting my chickens until his number went up."
Trainer Ben Currie felt Honey Toast's outside barrier draw contributed to his cup undoing.
"We didn't want to lead but from that alley we had to try and cross and be up there," Currie said.
"But gee he was strong. He just kept kicking."