Trainer Bernie Miller says the early signs are positive for Cup Night, as he prepares to launch his spring campaign in Saturday week’s Black Heart Bart Stakes (1200m).
The gelding produced another strong showing in winning a star-studded 1000m trial at Belmont yesterday, following another good trial on August 29.
Cup Night has raced sparingly over the past 18 months, with his most recent run in the May’s Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont.
Miller said both he and jockey Shaun O’Donnell got what they wanted from Cup Night’s second trial.
“I said to Dong (O’Donnell) ‘we just need to give him that little bit more to put him through the test again’,” Miller told TABradio.
“We just wanted to put that little bit more effort in to show us that he wants to be here, and he did that.
“The moment we got on track yesterday he was up and about.
“All the signs are very good at the moment.”
The revamped Pinnacles Series has left Miller pondering whether to target the $1.5 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and Northerly Stakes (1800m) or aim at sprint features the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and Gold Rush (1400m).
Miller said he would lean on Cup Night’s regular jockey Patrick Carbery in deciding what path to take.
“Patty and I will have a sit down and work out what is going on and where we should head,” he said.
“There are two avenues we can go, so all will come to light but he has got to get through that first test again.
“The horse is really starting to come to life again and we can only keep thinking positive.
“If we get there, I reckon we will see the real Cup Night again.”
Cup Night beat fellow blacktype winner Indian Pacific in yesterday’s trial, as well as the likes of Money Matters and It’sarayday.
Brad Parnham piloted the Neville Parnham-trained Indian Pacific in his first trial of the campaign and the in-form jockey said he may need another trial before a return to the track.
“He trialled okay but it wasn’t anything fantastic by his standards,” Parnham told TABradio.
“I think he’s still a little bit underdone.
“I haven’t spoken to dad too much, but I’d say he might trial again and we’d be looking to see a fair bit of improvement there.”
WATCH – Yesterday’s trial here