Bernie Miller’s talented gelding Cup Night is on target for his season return after bouncing through a Lark Hill trial with ease on Monday.
In a sharp performance over 950m, Cup Night won by 2 ½ lengths as the build up to his first major goal of the year gathers momentum.
Miller has picked out three feature sprints for the son Maschino, a winner of the listed Raconteur Stakes almost a year ago.
Miller said Cup Night will kick off his summer and autumn preparation in the Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on February 1.
He said the trial was an ideal launching pad.
“I was really happy with it,” Miller told The Races WA.
“He seemed to gather them up pretty quickly so it was good.”
Miller elected to bypass the Ascot carnival after Cup Night ran second to Tellem We’re Comin in the Northam Cup (1600m) last October.
He believes his patient approach has paid off with Cup Night displaying mental and physical maturity after a short freshen up.
“He has changed a lot in shape, body wise and mentally and eating habits as well.” Miller said.
“A lot of things have changed with him and he is quite athletic now.
“He is a lot stronger and knows what it is all about.”
Miller said he was looking forward to Cup Night’s upcoming races.
“February 1st is the Scenic Blast, two weeks after that is the Pinjarra Classic (1300m) and then the Bunbury Stakes (1400m),” Miller said.
“Then we will sit down and play it by ear after that.”
Cup Night has won seven races from 17 starts with his signature victory in the Listed Raconteur (1500m).
Miller is confident the four-year-old can continue to show improvement and add to his black-type record.
“He is going to have to be up to that top level this time in,” Miller said.
“He is not going to get anything weaker.
“He is going to be up to the strongest and the best.”