On Friday afternoon the Sam Kavanagh-trained Midsummer Sun defied his age and the history books to become the first back-to-back Gosford Cup winner since Dark Diamond back in 1971-72.
The now seven-year-old Monsun import won last year’s race on the New South Wales Central Coast by a quarter-length but was even more impressive 12 months later when successfully defending his title in the 2015 $150,000 Listed Gosford Quarries Gosford Gold Cup (2100m).
Backing up off a string of good runs over the spring – summer season, Midsummer Sun was last seen running a luckless second behind I’m Imposing in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick on Boxing Day where he was hampered near the 1600m mark and got posted three wide.
He jumped the $3.90 favourite in Gosford Cup betting on Friday and didn’t disappoint, putting a length on the Kris Lees-trained mare Oriental Lady ($12) to win the race once again.
In a close third, the race a blanket finish with only two lengths separating the first nine over the line before Chris Waller’s Hoylonny walked home in 10th 12 lengths off the winner, was Bindi Cheers’s 2100m specialist Phrases who was the $41 roughie of the field.
“That means a lot to win this race because he has been around the mark all preparation and just missed on a few occasions,” winning trainer Kavanagh told Sky Racing post-win.
Winning hoop Blake Shinn had his first ride on Midsummer Sun in the Gosford Cup and it proved a winning jockey-horse combination in the feature showdown.
He had his mount position up on the speed after jumping away well from barrier three, Midsummer Sun tracking the leader throughout despite getting caught out three wide and feeling the pressure mid-race.
Coming round the bend the winner, wearing the blinkers in a good gear change according to Shinn, kicked away nicely and ran home strongly with a late surge that saw him hold off the host of fellow hopefuls vying for the minor placings.
“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.”
The 2015 Gosford Gold Cup was Midsummer Sun’s seventh win from 31 starts and boosted his prize money up to $424,740.
It also broke a year long drought for the galloper who hadn’t won since last year’s race.
He backed up last Sydney Summer Racing Carnival off the Gosford Cup victory two weeks later in the $100,000 Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick when fourth to Travolta.
Stewards queried that run and Kavanagh advised the horse would be freshened-up and dropped back in distance with Midsummer Sun not seeing out the 2400m ruling that race out for his next summer assignment.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the latest on Midsummer Sun next race.
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2015 Gosford Gold Cup Results & Finishing Order
Gosford Race 6 (6:05pm) – 09/01/2015
|1||3||MIDSUMMER SUN (GB)||Sam Kavanagh||Blake Shinn||–||3||57kg||$3.90F|
|2||6||ORIENTAL LADY (GER)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||1L||8||54kg||$12|
|3||10||PHRASES||Bindi Cheers||Andrew Gibbons||1.1L||6||54kg||$41|
|4||4||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1.4L||2||56.5kg||$5.50|
|5||5||GALLATIN||John O’Shea||Tommy Berry||1.5L||5||54kg||$13|
|6||1||PELICANO||Tony McEvoy||Hugh Bowman||1.6L||1||59kg||$4|
|7||9||BLAZING DRAGON||Bart & James Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||1.9L||9||54kg||$26|
|7||7||CASINO DANCER||Mike Van Gestel||Jason Collett||1.9L||4||54kg||$10|
|9||8||GHOST PROTOCOL (IRE)||Paul Perry||Tim Clark||2.1L||7||54kg||$8.50|
|10||2||HOYLONNY||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||12L||10||57kg||$31|