Apprentice Boris Thornton threw pre-races plan out the window to help tough stayer Morendi to his second win in a row at Doomben on Saturday.
Morendi ($4.80) is a noted backmarker but found himself in the lead after 900m and went to win by a short neck to Exoteric ($4.80) with three-quarters of a length to First Crush ($4) in the Laser Clinics Toombul Handicap (2040m).
Trainer Darren Graham admitted the last place he expected Morendi to be in the middle stages was in front.
“But they all wanted to lead early and he got forced off the track. Boris did the right thing and went to the lead and it worked out,” Graham, said.
“He is a fit good stayer and that told at the end.”
Graham will now map out a campaign for Morendi that could include the winter carnival Cups races.
“The Toowoomba Cup (on April 7) is also in the back of my mind,” he added.
Thornton said he had decided to go to the front rather than sit deep for the whole trip.
“He just kept fighting,” Thornton said.