Noela’s Choice has relished getting back on a soft track with the mare bringing up an early race-to-race double for trainer Peter Moody at Moonee Valley.
After three-year-old Radical led in a stable quinella in the Essendon Nissan Handicap in the second race on Saturday, Noela’s Choice came out a race later and surged clear to win the Adapt Australia Handicap (1600m).
Noela’s Choice had not finished worse than second in four runs on rain-affected ground in lesser grade and was racing on a soft-rated track for the first time in seven starts this campaign.
Under apprentice Regan Bayliss, Noela’s Choice ($12) settled just off the speed before making her charge in the straight closest to the inside section to put 2-3/4 lengths on Coronation Shallan ($10) with a long neck to leader Japhils ($5) in third.
Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor said they would look to take advantage of the winter months while spacing the mare’s runs.
“We’ve got her in work because she does appreciate the soft ground,” O’Connor said.
“So that’s a good indicator for her going through the winter.”
Radical, meanwhile, started the longest odds of three Moody-trained runners in the Essendon Nissan Handicap (1600m) but came out on top when beating stablemate It’s About You by a long head with the John Moloney-trained favourite Act Of Valour another short-half head away third.
O’Connor says Radical has a good future, particularly when he gets over further next season.
Moody started Saturday’s meeting four wins behind leader Darren Weir in the Melbourne trainers’ premiership.