Bernie Miller’s top four-year-old Cup Night signaled he was on target for his season return with an impressive barrier trial win at Lark Hill on Monday.
With Pat Carbery in the saddle, Cup Night cruised to the line untouched in a 950m heat and is ready to commence his campaign in three weeks.
Showing a strong turn of foot over the final 200m, the Maschino gelding defeated Variation by nearly two lengths with Tellem We’re Comin third.
Cup Night, a winner in five of 13 races, had his first official hit out after he made a big impression in the autumn, going through undefeated.
His three start campaign ended in a blaze of glory last April when he took out the Raconteur Stakes (1500m), his first at Listed level.
Miller said he was pleased by Cup Night’s trial.
“I expected him to go well,” Miller told The Races WA.
“He has come back a lot bigger and stronger.
“There is more improvement to come.”
Miller said Cup Night, who has raced fresh in the past, will take a low key approach on his return.
“There is a 1200m race on October 7 and another one two weeks after that,” Miller said.
“I was thinking of giving him another trial, but he showed me enough.
“If he just won or looked in need of another trial I would have gone down that path.
“But I discussed it with Patty (Carbery) and he showed plenty and went well.”
Miller refused to get caught up in ambitious Ascot carnival plans for Cup Night.
Preferring to take an understated stance, he said the $195, 095 stakes earner will direct what path he takes in upcoming feature races.
“There are not great plans,” Miller said.
“We will see what happens and tick it off each race.
“He is going to have to improve against bigger and better horses.
“We will keep an open mind with him.”