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Underrated Not An Option will wear blinkers for the first time in an effort to get him to race closer to the pace in the Group One JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Not An Option was originally trained by Tony Pike in New Zealand where he won the Group Two Wakefield Challenge before finishing second in the Group Two Eclipse Stakes.

Pike has had tremendous success in Australia, especially in Brisbane where he won two Group One races with The Bostonian last year.

He thought Not An Option was up to top class in Australia and brought the colt to Sydney for the autumn carnival.

Not An Option ran third in the Group Three Kindergarten Stakes at Rosehill and was then sixth to King’s Legacy in the Group One Champagne Stakes.

The colt made up a lot of ground in the Champagne Stakes improving from last at the 600m.

Pike was happy with the effort and earmarked the JJ Atkins (1400m) as the next target.

Coronavirus restrictions meant Pike could not afford the time away from his New Zealand stables so he left the colt with the Richard and Michael Freedman training partnership at Rosehill for the rest of his Australian campaign.

The Freedmans have given Not An Option two trials to keep him ticking over for the Brisbane trip.

Not An Option was third in a Rosehill trial and then an impressive winner at Canterbury last week.

In that trial he wore blinkers and Richard Freedman said it had been a good effort.

“In both his Australian starts he had a tendency to drop out in his races and with blinkers we want to get him closer in the run,” Freedman said.

“Not An Option has drawn barrier three and hopefully blinkers mean we can make the most of it.

“There are some quality go-forward horses in the field like Rothfire and Wisdom of Water who we don’t to want to be giving a big start.”

Freedman said Pike had a nice opinion of Not An Option and Pike was a trainer to take notice of.

“Tony felt Not An Option is bred to get over a little bit of a trip and he always thought once he can stretch out over further it would really suit,” he said.

“Tony also felt he deserved a chance at a Group One race in Australia and the good conditions at Eagle Farm should suit.”

Jockey Michael Cahill will ride Not An Option and hopes to continue his good form at winter carnivals.

Cahill won both Group One races for Pike last year on The Bostonian who is spelling this year.

He recently returned from injury and showcased his form with a feature race double at Doomben last week.

 
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