Two down, one to go.
That's the feeling among the connections of Aesop's Fable after the tough mare followed up her Dubbo Gold Cup (1600m) victory with a Coonamble Cup (1600m) win on Sunday.
Trained at Moree by Peter Sinclair and ridden to perfection by Ashley Morgan, Aesop's Fable overcame a wide draw on Sunday and produced a determined run home in the $75,000 event.
Taking out the Coonamble feature was a goal for owners Dominic and Karen Neate when they passed the horse on to Sinclair, and next on the checklist is the $75,000 Coonabarabran Cup (1600m) on October 24.
"It's a great outcome," Sinclair said of Sunday's win.
"Dominic and his wife, they bought the mare to try and win the Coonamble and Coonabarabran cups because their parents come from that district and they grew up there.
"That's what she was targeted for so to win the Dubbo Cup on the way, that was a bonus."
A regular on the bush circuit, Sinclair is currently enjoying one of his most successful periods due to Aesop's Fable's exploits.
The $100,000 Dubbo Gold Cup win was the biggest of his career, while more than $30,000 was pocketed when winning Sunday's feature.
"It's great winning a cup wherever you are but that prizemoney is super," Sinclair said.
"For any country trainer it's a hard slog. You do it more for enjoyment than the monetary side of it in the country."
Sinclair added Racing NSW and the country clubs deserved credit for putting on such successful meetings and offering such rewards.
"If you wanted to race for that prizemoney (in the past), you ended up in the provincials at least or metropolitan and the grade is ten times harder, so it's so good to race for that prizemoney in the bush."
And as much as he's loving the country cup circuit at the moment, a city test is on the horizon.
Should five-year-old Aesop's Fable, who now has six wins from 28 career starts, get through the Coonabarabran Cup unscathed then a start in the $130,000 Country Classic (2000m) at Rosehill awaits.
"I reckon shell eat up 2000m no worries," Sinclair said.
The way Aesop's Fable hit the line on Sunday proved the extra ground shapes as no real issue.
Aesop's Fable ($7) settled just off midfield but once they rounded the bend for home Morgan was able to expertly move his way through a gap and into the clear.
Sinclair's hope showed a huge amount of fight in the straight t overhaul Rich And Shameless ($12) while Ready To Humble ($3.40 favourite) ran home well for third.
"They were taking up the rain all week so we had the pressure off a little bit but luckily the rain didn't come until late in the day and Ash gave her one of the best rides you'll see," Sinclair said.
"She really wanted to win the race and you could see it."
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