Midsummer Sun will be hard to beat in Saturday’s 2014 ATC Cup field according to trainer Sam Kavanagh who is tipping improvement off the seven-year-old’s last start second at the track.
Rosehill Gardens will be host to a triple shot of Black Type racing on the weekend including a field of 10 stayers facing off in the $100,000 Listed ATC Cup (2000m).
Likely favourite in the ATC Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the John O’Shea-trained Malice, one of two in the race for Godolphin.
Drawn on the rails in barrier one with Sam Clipperton to ride, Teofilo gelding Malice comes off a win against a similar field over 1900m at the track a fortnight ago in the $85,000 Cellarbrations@Valentine Handicap.
Carrying 54kg with Clipperton in the saddle the four-year-old had a nose to spare of Midsummer Sun, carrying 57kg, that day.
The two will face off again for round two in the ATC Cup and Kavanagh, son of former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark, is hoping his galloper has the improvement in him to turn the tables on his last start conqueror as he steps up in distance.
“He bounced back last week and he ran the quickest 600 metres in the race and performed back to where he should be,” Kavanagh told Racing Ahead on Wednesday morning.
“He meets all those horses a little bit better in the weights this week and if anything he seems to have come on and the extra 100 metres will suit him.”
This weekend Midsummer Sun also has a gun draw in barrier three for jockey Tye Angland and drops half a kilo to 56.5kg with the ATC Cup weights led by the Chris Waller-trained Permit (59kg).
Angland is likely to be instructed to ride his ATC Cup mount quietly again off the pace like the horse was ridden last time out, even though he’s drawn to lead with an inside alley this time.
“Tye gets on well with him and he should be able to get a nice run,” Kavanagh said.
“He is better ridden a bit quieter and hopefully there is enough pace in the race.
“With any luck he will be very hard to beat.”
A Group 3 runner up behind Entirely Platinum in the Sky High Stakes (1900m) here back in March, Kavanagh’s veteran is after his first win since the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) on January 10 at the start of the year.
Aside from Malice Kavanagh also rates Dansili eight-year-old Permit as a notable danger in the ATC Cup this year.
The evergreen galloper was dead last in the race last year when beaten 12.5 lengths by Travolta, but looked very nice when only a quarter length away third behind Malice and Midsummer Sun with half a kilo more than Saturday’s weight in the November 15 lead-up.
“Permit is going to be hard to beat, he ran third the other day and he will obviously improve with the step-up in trip, and obviously Malice that beat us the other day,” Kavanagh pointed out.
“It is a similar field, but I’m hoping that the extra 100 metres will suit us more than Malice and meeting him a half kilo better for a photo finish we might be able to turn-the-tables.”
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