Michael Cahill won a tactical battle between Brisbane’s top jockeys to help stayer Morendi return to winning form at Doomben.
After a race run at a stop-and-start pace, Morendi ($7) came away to beat Irish Optimism ($12) by three-quarters of a length with 2-3/4 lengths to the favourite Get on the Grange ($2) in the Coca Cola Hcp (2200m) Handicap.
There were only five runners in the race and each was ridden by one of the premiership-leading jockeys who at various stages tried to keep their rivals napping.
The pace came on and off at regular intervals during the first 1200m.
In the end Cahill held his nerve and guided Morendi to his first win since April last year.
“They stopped and started but he was able to get a sit behind them and had them covered on the home turn,” Cahill said.
“But he probably got to the lead a bit early and wanted to switch off. He was well in at the weights on his old form and he might be getting back to near his best.”
Morendi was rated good enough to run in some of the big staying Cups races last winter and trainer Darren Graham again has them in the back of his mind.