Smart young stayer Five To Midnight closed a rewarding campaign in the best possible style at Hastings yesterday with success in the listed Hawke's Bay Gold Cup.
The genuine 4-year-old will go out for break at the top of his game after he got the better of the topweight Maygrove in the Winning Edge Presentations-sponsored feature.
Trainer Lisa Latta had said before the race that win, lose or draw the paddock beckoned Five To Midnight - and she's not changing her mind.
"He's been very consistent and run well in all the good races. He deserved a nice win and a good spell."
In this campaign, Five To Midnight has won two races and placed in the group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup, group 3 City of Auckland Cup, group 3 Manawatu Cup and listed Feilding Cup.
He also performed creditably to finish fifth in the group 1 Auckland Cup and fourth in the group 2 Avondale Cup.
"I'm so happy to see him win one," said owner Kevin Pratt, who races the gelding under his Kamada Racing banner.
"I'm going back to Sydney tomorrow and I've been here a month and hadn't won a race until now."
Five To Midnight drew the inside gate and rider Danielle Johnson settled him into the trail and bided her time until she was into the clear on straightening.
Maygrove was driven to the front on the turn by Matt Cameron, but Five To Midnight wore him down in the closing 250m for a deserved victory. Frontrunner Balham boxed on gamely for his third placing ahead of Pacorus.
- NZ Racing Desk