In a historical feat not achieved since the early 1970s, the Sam Kavanagh-trained Midsummer Sun recorded an impressive Gosford Cup win on Friday afternoon on the New South Wales Central Coast going back-to-back in the race for the first time in over four decades.
The last consecutive Gosford Cup winner was Dark Diamond back in 1971-72 but the hoodoo of the defending champions was broken in 2015 with returning hero Midsummer Sun scoring a smart victory for the punters.
Twelve months ago Kavanagh’s Monsun gelding posted his biggest career win with a quarter-length victory over Brigantin.
On Friday he broke a year long drought with Blake Shinn guiding him to a one length success as the $3.90 favourite in the $150,000 Gosford Quarries Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) over the Kris Lees-trained mare Oriental Lady ($12).
In third finishing off the Gosford Gold Cup trifecta just a nose back in a photo for the placings was then the Bindi Cheers-trained roughie of the field Phrases, the $41 outsider showing good form over the distance once again.
Shinn took the eventual winner right up on the speed in Gosford race six after the duo jumped away well from a nice barrier three draw.
Sitting just off the leader throughout, Midsummer Sun didn’t get the perfect run sitting three-wide and under pressure mid-race, but did hold his position.
Undefeated over the 2100m, the import had enough left in the tank for an impressive kick on the turn as he pulled clear for his third win over the distance ahead of a host of his rivals who were gunning for a minor placing.
In a blanket finish there was only a two length spread between first and ninth over the line while the Chris Waller-trained Hoylonny was the disappointment of the race walking in 12 lengths off the winner.
Waller also saddled up Multilateral who was one of the best in betting, last year’s winning jockey Glyn Schofield riding him into a close fourth place finish only one and a half lengths off Kavanagh’s dual champion.
Shinn was pleased with the finish of Midsummer Sun, the hoop telling Sky Racing the addition of blinkers was a definite factor in helping him switch on.
“The addition of blinkers have really switched the horse on,” he 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.”
Kavanagh was also pleased with the Gosford Cup result saying it was a deserved win after the horse, who came off a luckless second behind I’m Imposing in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick on Boxing Day, had been thereabouts all campaign.
“That means a lot to win this race because he has been around the mark all preparation and just missed on a few occasions,” he said.
Midsummer Sun has now won seven of his 31 career starts for $424,740 in prize money.
Last year he backed up from the Gosford Cup win with a fourth to Travolta in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick a fortnight later.
That is unlikely to be the goal this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival however with Kavanagh stating last year he didn’t see out the mile and a half.