Exactly a year after his most important win in Australia, Midsummer Sun has returned to the scene of that triumph to win the Gosford Gold Cup for the second time.
And despite his advancing years, Midsummer Sun, the $3.90 favourite, won far more impressively than he did in 2014.
Put right on the speed by Blake Shinn, Midsummer Sun held his position outside the leader even though there was three-wide pressure through the middle stages of the race.
It didn’t matter to Midsummer Sun as the import kicked away on the turn to beat a blanket of runners vying for the minor places.
Eventually it was left to Oriental Lady ($12) to chase but she failed by a length to reel in the winner with Phrases ($41) a nose away in third.
Midsummer Sun is only the second horse to go back-to-back on a Cup honour roll that includes Australian broodmare queen Denise’s Joy and more recently the subsequent Group One winner Moriarty.
Shinn said Kavanagh deserved all the credit for getting Midsummer Sun to win again.
“The addition of blinkers have really switched the horse on,” Shinn said.
“When I asked him he really let down and put a gap in them and held them at bay. It was a great win.”
Kavanagh, who was at the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions yearling sale, told Sky Racing it was an important win.
“That means a lot to win this race because he has been around the mark all preparation and just missed on a few occasions,” he said.
Joe Pride predicted an out-and-out speed future for Ball Of Muscle despite the gelding stretching his brilliance to annex a 1200m track record in the Takeover Target Stakes.
And he did it with jockey Glyn Schofield weighing a bit more than he should have when he returned to scale.
Schofield was fined $200 for his weight offence which was compounded because he had to forgo a mount in the last race.
He told a stewards’ inquiry he would not be taking rides below 55kg for the immediate future.
Aside from his appearance before stewards, it was a memorable day for Schofield as he rode the Chris Waller-trained Mamwaazel to win the Belle Of The Turf Stakes.
But his double was not enough to take riding honours as Hugh Bowman rode the first three winners, including the impressive Kinagat for Bart and James Cummings.