It’s been a patient wait to get him back to fitness, but trainer Bernie Miller says Cup Night is ready to run well when he resumes in a fortnight.
Cup Night is Miller’s Ascot carnival horse and has been off the scene for nearly five months after a nasty virus thwarted his autumn campaign.
He won the Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) and finished runner-up in the Pinjarra Classic (1300m) in February, but illness kept him out of the Bunbury Stakes (1400m).
However, after completing a second trial in top style at Lark Hill, Cup Night is primed for a return in Saturday week’s Bolton Sprint (1200m).
Posting the fastest time of the 14 heats on Monday, Cup Night charged home powerfully under jockey Pat Carbery and won by three lengths.
Optimistic he has made a full recovery from the stomach virus, Miller believes Cup Night will be ready for his first-up assignment.
“He did what he wanted to do and did it basically by himself,” Miller told Tabradio.
“A little bit of urging for a couple of strides by Pat, but nothing much.
“He did have a very big blow, so he will take a lot of improvement out of that.
“We walked away pretty happy.”
Cup Night, a dual stakes winner, has won eight races from 19 starts and is close to reaching $400,000 in prize money.
The Maschino gelding has been carefully managed by Miller since his last-start second to Free Trade in the Pinjarra Classic.
“He had signs of something or developing something from the bloods I took before the Pinjarra Classic,” Miller said.
“We found out that his immune system was absolutely shot, his liver, lungs and spleen were affected badly.
“So, we had to build and get his immune system and organs back up and firing again and it looks like we might be on the right tram.”
Miller said Cup Night will likely have a cameo winter campaign before he sets his sights on Ascot carnival races.
“The two weeks will be great going into the Bolton, he won’t be cherry for it, but he will be close,” Miller said.
“I’m leaning to the Bolton and the Belmont Newmarket.
“If I stop then it will give me six weeks to the Birthday Stakes and hopefully a launching pad to better races in November.”