By Ray Hickson
The outside barrier, dropping in distance off a first-up failure doesn’t scream an ideal scenario but trainer Cody Morgan is adamant Moobi can produce his best in Sunday’s $50,000 Country Championships Wild Card (1280m) at Muswellbrook.
If that best is good enough for Moobi to join stablemate Unbiased in next month’s final then so be it but Morgan said the gelding deserves one final shot.
Moobi has already won four races and given his talent will likely win a couple more before the 2020 series and he’s a six-year-old, so there’s no guarantee he’ll still be eligible next year.
“I spoke to Mr Parkinson, the owner, and he felt the horse is probably wanting a mile but the horse is six rising seven,’’ Morgan said.
“He gets back and runs home and if he’s lucky enough to run second then in a fortnight he’s racing for half a million. I’ve kept his work short and sharp and I think a different horse will turn up.’’
On the surface, Moobi just didn’t turn up in the Hunter & North West Qualifier at Tamworth on March 10.
But he did run on from last on the turn to finish eighth, beaten 4.4 lengths, by Unbiased and Punter’s Intelligence sectional data shows he ran the second fastest last 600m of the race of 34.40. So there was merit.
Morgan said a couple of factors probably led to his below par performance and he’s confident the trip to Muswellbrook will be in his favour. He’s engaged leading apprentice Robbie Dolan for the ride.
“I think because he’s a hot horse running him at Tamworth didn’t help because my stables are on course and the whole day revved him up,’’ he said.
“He ran his race before the race in the enclosure. The trip away in the float gives him a lot better chance.
“He’s probably going to be back at Muswellbrook but you’d like to think he’d be travelling better.
“He’s come on and if he could hit the line like he has previously he’s still a top two chance. I think take Noble Boy out and it’s a pretty even line up.’’
The Tamworth trainer won the 2017 Wild Card, run at Scone that year due to wet weather, with Pelerin who also had the task of jumping from the outside barrier.
Meanwhile, Unbiased will have a solid jump out on the Tamworth course proper on Tuesday as he prepares to take his place in the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Unbiased wins the Tamworth Qualifier on March 10
Morgan will be in the saddle for that jump out so will know first hand how the gelding has come through his emotional Qualifier win two weeks ago.
“Hopefully he trials up well and then he’ll have another strong gallop seven days later and all being well we will head down,’’ he said.
“My bloke won first-up after nine months so you’d like to think there’s natural improvement there.’’
Unbiased is rated a $15 chance in the final by TAB but if you ask Morgan, and trainers can be biased, he’s one of the main players.
“I respect every other horse but I wouldn’t swap mine for any horse in the race at this stage,’’ he said.
“Maybe if Noble Boy wins by five on Sunday I might reconsider that but as it is I wouldn’t swap him.’’