Talented Domesday gelding Five To Midnight is on target for a second crack at a Group I staying feature.
He finished a meritorious fifth in last season’s Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) and his preparation for the March event was boosted at Te Rapa on Saturday with a stylish victory in the Group III Waikato Cup.
Runner-up in his previous start in the Group III Counties Cup (2100m), Five To Midnight had no trouble going one better under a faultless ride from Leith Innes.
“The horse had done really well since Pukekohe, I couldn’t have been happier with him, and I would have been disappointed if he wasn’t right in this,” trainer Lisa Latta said.
They sat in the trail before angling clear on straightening and the five-year-old wasn’t to be denied in the run to the post.
“He got the gun run and Leith peeled out turning in and the horse won nicely,” Latta said.
“We’ll probably look at the Avondale Cup at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and then work our way to the Auckland Cup.”
Five To Midnight, who ended his last campaign with victory in the Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m), is raced by Kevin Pratt under his Kamada Park racing banner.
“He loves the game and deserves every bit of success, he puts a lot of money into the game,” Latta said.
Five To Midnight had a long neck to spare on the fast-finishing Promise To Reign, who came from the tail of the field.
One of 16 stakes-winners by Aquis Farm’s Domesday Five To Midnight was a $165,000 NZB Select Yearling Sale purchase for his trainer from The Oaks Stud draft and has six wins and nine placings from 27 starts.
He is the first foal of minor winning Fastnet Rock mare Fastnet Lady, whose third dam is stakes-winner St Klaire, the dam of Group I winners Bonanova, Telesto and Fraternity.
Domesday also featured at Doomben where his five year-old son Emphasis won the $75,000 Cascade Quality over 2020 metres.
A stakes-placed winner of seven races, Emphasis has won nearly $300,000 in prizemoney.