Five To Midnight (NZ) triumphs in Waikato Cup

Consistent big-race performer Five To Midnight (NZ) (Domesday) claimed the biggest win of his career in Saturday’s $100,000 Group 3 Skycity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa, lifting his prize-money earnings to almost double his purchase price at Karaka.

The Lisa Latta-trained gelding’s biggest win before Saturday had come in the Listed Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup (2200m), but he had placed in the Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) and the Group 3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m), Counties Cup (2100m), Manawatu Cup (2300m) and Manawatu Classic (2000m). He had also finished fourth in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) and fifth in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m).

He would not be denied the Group 3 spoils on Saturday, capitalising on an excellent ride from Leith Innes and bursting to the lead in the home straight. Promise To Reign (Manhattan Rain) and Zambezi Warrior (NZ) (Pentire) challenged him strongly in the last 200 metres, but Five To Midnight held them out by a long neck.

Five To Midnight has now won six of his 27 starts, earning $272,710 for owners Kamada Racing.

“He got the gun run today and he’s a horse with a good turn of foot,” said Latta, who paid $165,000 to buy him from The Oaks Stud’s draft at the 2014 Select Sale.

“It’s great for Kevin Pratt (Kamada Racing owner), he puts a lot into the game.”

Out of the winning Fastnet Rock mare Fastnet Lady, Five To Midnight was bred by The Oaks Stud who will offer a half-sister by Roc de Cambes at Book 2 in Karaka 2018.

Vendor The Oaks Stud
Purchaser Lisa Latta Racing Stables (Palmerston North)
Breeding Domesday – Fastnet Lady
Sale Lot 472, 2014 Select Sale, $165,000
Bred by The Oaks Stud

In other news South Island filly Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel) got her New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series campaign underway in style on Saturday, making her first start in the Series a winning one in the $70,000 Group 3 LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes (1550m) at Awapuni.

The clear favourite for the third leg of the Series was Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy), who won the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and ran second in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) to lead the Series with 13 points. She had also picked up additional black-type wins in the Listed Wanganui Fillies’ Stakes (1200m) and Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).

Dijon Bleu cruised to the lead in the straight in Saturday’s Eulogy Stakes and looked set to carry on her winning way, but Savvy Coup followed in her slipstream before angling to her outside and cutting her down in the last 100 metres. Ridden by Michael McNab for the father-son Riccarton training combination of Michael and Matthew Pitman, Savvy Coup got up to win by half a length.

“She was travelling that well at the 600, all we needed from there was some luck,” Michael Pitman said. “It was a great ride by Michael.

“She’s a lovely filly, she’s got a great pedigree and great owners (long-time stable clients from the Bruford and Coupland families).”

Savvy Coup was bred by Waikato Stud and is a daughter of their champion stallion Savabeel. The filly’s dam Eudora (NZ) (Pins) is a full-sister to the stakes winners Legless Veuve (NZ) (Pins) and Tootsie (NZ) (Pins). The latter is the dam of the recent Group 2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) winner Ocean Emperor (NZ) (Zabeel).

Bought for $65,000 as a Premier Sale yearling at Karaka in 2016, Savvy Coup has now had eight starts for three wins, two placings and $86,125 in prize-money.

Waikato Stud will offer a full-brother to Savvy Coup as Lot 190 during Book 1 of Karaka 2018.

The result of Saturday’s Eulogy Stakes has seen Dijon Bleu extend her overall Series lead with 16 points. The New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner Hasahalo (NZ) (Savabeel) remains in second place with 12, with Savvy Coup now third with 6 points.

The 1000 Guineas third placegetter The Lustre (NZ) (Darci Brahma) is fourth with 3.5 points, followed by Florence Jean (NZ) (Pins) with 3. Eulogy Stakes third placegetter Contessa Vanessa (NZ) (Bullbars) joined the table with 1.5 points.

The next leg of the Series is the $100,000 Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie, followed by the $100,000 Group 2 Royal Stakes (2000m) at the same venue six days later. That will be an opportunity for other fillies to stake their Series claim, with neither Savvy Coup nor Dijon Bleu expected to travel north to Auckland.

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser NZB as agent (Auckland)
Breeding Savabeel – Eudora
Sale Lot 277, 2017 Premier Sale, $65,000
Bred by Waikato Stud Ltd

Highly rated galloper Royal Success (NZ) (Savabeel), who fetched big prices in his two trips through the Karaka sale ring, took a big step forward in his racing career with a first black-type win in Saturday’s $70,000 Group 3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.

Making just his 12th start, the five-year-old gelding recorded his sixth most significant win. Rider Cameron Lammas had the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained runner trailing the leaders for most of the race, then surging into contention after the field rounded the home turn.

The biggest danger proved to be his own stablemate, fast-finishing fellow Karaka graduate Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel), but Royal Success fought gamely to the line to score by a head.

Bred by the late Jim Campin at Chequers Stud, Royal Success has now won more than $120,000 in prize-money for his owners the Te Akau Royal Success Syndicate.

His dam is the multiple Listed winner Royal Show (NZ) (Deputy Governor), whose other five winning offspring include the three-time Australian Group winner Folding Gear (NZ) (Johar).

Vendor Premier Sale: The Estate of J. W. CampinRTR: Lyndhurst Farm
Purchaser Premier Sale: Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)RTR: DC Ellis/JW Richards (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Royal Show
Sale Lot 217, 2014 Premier Sale, $130,000Lot 135, 2014 Ready to Run Sale, $250,000
Bred by J W Campin