Pat Carbery believes Cup Night has returned a better horse this preparation and the experienced jockey is looking forward to having him back at the races.

After a top trial hit out, The Bernie Miller-trained five-year-old is set to launch his latest preparation in the Northam Stakes (1100m) on May 2.

Cup Night won heat five at Lark Hill today (Tuesday) in striking fashion, closing strongly from behind the five-horse trial under little pressure.

Carbery hopes Cup Night’s first serious hit out for the year could signal a reversal of fortune after last year’s Ascot carnival plans came unstuck.

The son of Maschino ran sixth in the Railway Stakes (1600m) and 14th in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) after battling injury concerns before both features.

Cup Night copped a gruelling run at his previous start in the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and came out of it sore and sorry after a bad cut to a hind cannon.

Carbery said Cup Night’s trial had boosted his confidence ahead of the gelding’s return.

“He’s been going really good heading into the trials,” Carbery told The Races WA.

“Obviously, you want to see him go well after a tough prep last campaign.

“They didn’t go that hard in the run, I thought they would go harder, but he travelled really well and let down nicely under little pressure.

“He was going easy, he was coasting, he pulled up really well from it.

“As far as I know he will have one more trial and go to the Northam Stakes first up.

“He hasn’t been this good for 12-months I reckon.

“Bernie is happy with him and I’ve been happy with what he has been doing at the track.

“He’s had a few hiccups and after he got interfered badly early in the prep last time in it was always a battle to get him to the Railway.

“As far as he is going mentally we are happier with him more than anything,

“After they get that sort of interference you worry that it turns them off a bit.

“To me he is at the top of his game.”

Meanwhile Carbery is hoping Reliable Star can bounce back and challenge stable mate and raging favourite Western Empire is Saturday’s Group 2 Schweppes WATC Derby (2400m).

Carbery said Reliable Star had no luck when unplaced behind Lunar Impact in the WA Oaks (2400m) on March 27.

“She had a horror run in the Oaks from a wide draw,” Carbery said.

“She’s drawn a lot better and should get a lot better run.

“I think she is a genuine stayer and we’ll see what happens, but Western Empire is the testing material.”

Julio Santarelli

Image: Hamilton Content Creators