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Morendi gives McCabe a huge thrill with Toowoomba Cup win

By Glenn Davis

Murwillumbah iron horse Morendi has given trainer Darryl McCabe his biggest thrill in racing after taking out the Toowoomba Cup at Clifford Park on Saturday.

Morendi looked in a hopeless position midway through the race before jockey Michael Cahill circled the field to claim the 2000-metre Cup in a deceptive finish by a nose over Honey Toast who won the race two years ago.

The Chris Munce-trained First Crush loomed up as the winner 200 metres out and battled on to finish third, a further half head away.

Morendi was having only his third start for McCabe who took over training the five-year-old from fellow Murwillumbah trainer Darren Graham who is currently serving a four-month suspension.

McCabe formerly trained at Orange in NSW before moving north 10 years ago and worked as a truck driver for the past six years for Matt Dunn.

Morendi’s win was his 11th from 38 starts since owner Ken Lawson bought him at a Patinack Farm dispersal sale when he was two.

Morendi campaigned in Brisbane during last year’s winter carnival but failed to measure up to the bigger races in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup and Group 3 races in the Chairman’s Handicap, Premier’s Cup and Tattersall’s Cup.

However, the five-year-old, who is likely to return to Graham when his suspension expires, may be given a second crack at the winter staying races.

"This is my biggest win as most of my previous wins were in the bush," McCabe said.

Meanwhile bookies were cheering when Mobile gave Eagle Farm trainer Barry Lockwood a rare Clifford Park win in the Class Three Plate (2000m).

Mobile, starting at $16, sprouted wings over the final stages to score a runaway 3-3/4 length win over Shuda Known Better with Shield Wall, third, a further three-quarters of a length away.

Mobile was unwanted by most punters after going into the race with only two wins from 20 starts including his most recent sixth to Sharpamal at Doomben two weeks ago.

Trainer Barry Lockwood was unsure of his previous win at Toowoomba but believed it was his former star sprinter Hidden Pearl who was successful in a restricted race in May, 2015.

“It’s a rare win and a rare visit for me here,” Lockwood said.

“I think my last winner here was with Hidden Pearl a few years ago.”

Lockwood gave Mobile a chance of an upset following the four-year-old’s previous sixth at Doomben a fortnight ago.

“He was one of the few horses who made up ground last start and he’s been a bit stiff in a few other races,” Lockwood said.

Lockwood plans to poke along with Mobile but has little doubt he’ll eventually make it to open company.

“He’s a very slow maturer but I think he’ll make a good open company horse later on,” he said.

Racing Queensland webnews    April 7