Moral Victory has refused to act his age with the seven-year-old putting in a career-best performance to win the Group Two Shannon Stakes.
Trainer Tim Martin said the horse continued to improve with age after putting back-to-back wins together in Saturday’s race at Rosehill.
Moral Victory will get his chance at a hat-trick when he tackles the Group One Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on October 8.
“He has never gone better,” Martin said.
“His target is the Toorak and his win last start and today he is well and truly on song.”
That would give Martin’s small stable two Group One runners in as many weeks with Heavens Above likely to start in the Epsom Handicap at Randwick 1 after she finished sixth in the Golden Pendant.
“We’ve never gone better so that’s why we’re coming to the races,” Martin said.
Moral Victory’s jockey Jason Collett said the horse had relaxed well after taking a sit behind the speed.
“We were needing a bit of luck when we got back to the inside but we got it and he was strong once I really asked for him,” Collett said.
“It’s a big achievement, a Group Two as a seven-year-old.”
Collett revealed former champion rider and Godolphin assistant trainer Darren Beadman had given him a pep-talk ahead of the Shannon.
“He just said ‘ride the horse as you know it, don’t try to ride the race,’ and I’m really thankful for that,” Collett said.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Caped Crusader ($4.80) finished 1-1/4 lengths behind Moral Victory ($5.50) in second.
Cosmic Cube ($9) was another two lengths away third.
Martin said he had bred Moral Victory with part-owner Mark Warlters.
“It has been a tough road with the breeding and it’s nice to get a good win,” Martin said.