Go back just a few weeks and Peter Sinclair was targeting a Moree Cup victory with Aesop's Fable before shifting focus to next month's feature event at Coonamble.
But after the Moree meeting on September 5 was washed out, Sinclair opted to send the five-year-old mare to Sunday's $100,000 Dubbo Gold Cup (1600m).
The decision has proved a masterstroke as Aesop's Fable won the biggest event on the Dubbo Turf Club calendar in thrilling fashion.
With Ashely Morgan in the saddle, Aesop's Fable ($31) flew home in the dying stages to to overhaul hometown hope Fast Talking ($8) and hold off fellow fast-finisher Reward Seeker ($14) in a photo finish.
"It's great. I can't thank the owner and the staff enough," an emotional Sinclair said after the win.
Interestingly, Sunday's result marked the second time in as many years as $31 chance had won the cup after the William Freedman-trained Zaunkonig delivered in the 2020 event.
Formerly trained at Randwick by John Sargent, Aesop's Fable debuted for Sinclair with a fourth-placed finish at Gunnedah on August 16.
She was set to contest the $40,000 Moree Cup at Sinclair's home track but the washout ruined that.
The five-year-old was then only an emergency for Sunday's event at Dubbo but after a raft of scratchings she made the most of her chance.
It was a fine performance from Morgan that secured the victory for Aesop's Fable.
He settled deep in the field early on after starting in gate seven while Lord Heron ($9) led early from Kody Nestor's Fast Talking, racing a little further forward than usual, and Ecker Road ($101) sat close behind.
Fast Talking took control in the straight and when he kicked at the 250m mark it seemed he was in complete control.
But Aesop's Fable and Reward Seeker has found plenty of room in the middle of the track and they powered themselves into contention.
In a fantastic finish, Aesop's Fable narrowly got the job done on the outside while Wellington trainer Michael Mulholland's Reward Seeker just edged out Fast Talking.
Ecker Road, Bryan's Dixon big $101 outsider, held on well for fourth.
"It was a good run," Morgan told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the win.
Morgan had been in the saddle when Aesop's Fable ran fourth at Gunnedah last start.
"It was run on speed that day and I just got back and probably further back than I wanted to be. But today I got in a nice spot," the jockey added.
"It was a good win. The plan was the Coonamble Cup but it's nice to knock this one off on the way."
It was a day to remember for Morgan as he finished the showcase meeting with a treble.
Both his earlier wins had come for Scone trainer Brett Cavanough, with Two Ya Got ($6.50) winning the days opening event while he also scored with Time To Target ($4.60).
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