Te Rapa win has Five To Midnight on a cups campaign

Five To MidnightTalented central districts galloper Five To Midnight is on target for a second crack at a Group 1 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.

Runner-up in his previous start in the Group 3 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, whose half-sister (Lot 820) will be offered by The Oaks Stud during the Book 2 sale at Karaka in 2018, had a long neck to spare on the fast-finishing Promise To Reign, who came from the tail of the field.

Zambezi Warrior continued to show improvement with his run for third ahead of Rock On, who was slow to get into stride before looping the field down the back straight to sit outside the leader.

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