Mike Moroney and Patrick Moloney engineered another upset result in a 1200-metre feature at Mornington on Saturday.
A fortnight after winning the $1.5 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap with Roch ‘N’ Horse, the trainer/jockey combination won the $200,000 Listed Hareeba Stakes with Not An Option.
Like Roch ‘N’ Horse, who stated $101, Not An Option was the outsider of the field at $41.
The Hareeba Stakes was Not An Option’s second start for Moroney, and first since being gelded, and Moloney wasn’t shocked to see him turn his form around and expects him to go on with things.
“He only had one run for Mike prior to today and I rode him,” Moloney recalled. “He was a colt that day and he went around like a lad, he had a nice run but didn’t want to let down for me.
“It was good enough for the owners to bite the bullet and geld him and he’s come back a much more rounded animal.
“I think he’s going to be a horse that only improves when he gets out to 1400 and a mile. Today he was quite brilliant and he had trialled up like that leading up to today.”
The Not A Single Doubt four-year-old proved strongest in an event that was delayed when Signore Fox had to be replated pre-race and La Mexicana a was a late scratching after playing up behind the barriers.
The pre-race activity did not affect Not An Option, who travelled sweetly midfield, swept into the race rounding the home turn and withstood a late challenge from Superium ($4.80) to score by one length.
Chassis ($6.50), who was having her first start for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace camp, was 1-1/4 lengths away third.
Not An Option, a $240,000 Karaka buy who was originally trained in New Zealand by Tony Pike and had a stint with Richard and Michael Freedman in New South Wales, has now won four of 14 starts and $280,000 in stakes.