Trainer Sam Kavanagh has confirmed that Midsummer Sun will drop back to a mile to contest the 2014 Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Kavanagh revealed last week that he was struggling to find options for Midsummer Sun after he finished third in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 29 and has elected to give Monsun gelding an opportunity over a mile in the Villiers Stakes before he steps back-up in trip for the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day.
“We just felt that coming back to a mile from 2000 metres and there has been a lot of rain up here and we think that it is going to be a testing mile,” Kavanagh told Racing Ahead.
“The statistics of horses coming back from 2000 to the Randwick mile is very good, so we thought we would roll the dice and have a bit of a crack.
“He needed another run before the Summer Cup and rather go up to 2400 and come back we elected to come back to a mile.”
Midsummer Sun started his spring preparation with flat performances in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) and Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) and was fifth in the Vincents Accountants Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 1 before he returned to his best form at the same venue a fortnight later with a close second behind Malice in the Cellarbrations At Valentine Handicap (1900m).
The six-year-old hit the line fairly when third in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens, but Kavanagh believes that the imported galloper was never a chance due to the slow early tempo in the race and he is hoping that there will be more speed in the early stages of the Villiers Stakes this weekend.
“He has been good,” Kavanagh said.
“With his last run they just walked in front and the leader broke 33.
“He finished third and he finished off well, but he can’t run those times, he is a European horse that keeps making a run, but doesn’t have that turn-of-foot.
“Hopefully there is a really genuine tempo this weekend and he can finish off strongly.”
Kavanagh said Midsummer Sun would likely head for a freshen-up following the Summer Cup and could be set for a tilt at the 2015 Canberra Cup on March 8 next year.