Vinery stallions starred on the Newcastle Cup support card at Broadmeadow on Thursday.
Mossman gelding Midnight At Ascot maintained his purple-patch of form in the Provincial Cup (1200m) for Dean Watt’s Dynamic Syndications.
And More Than Ready mare More Strawberries signalled her spring intentions with a determined first-up victory in the Listed Tibbie Plate (1400m).
Midnight At Ascot has won four of his last five starts highlighted by the Magic Millions Country Cup back in January. He ran a race record 1:11.22s in the Provincial Cup clocking the last 600m in a quick 34.47s.
The gelding has come a long way since being entered for an Inglis Sale after managing just one minor placing in 11 starts with David Payne. Given a last-minute reprieve and transferred to Darren Smith, the gelding has won 7 of his last 14 starts and earned $134,050.
A trip to town beckons after he runs in the Denman Cup at Muswellbrook on October 2. Long term, he will defend the Magic Millions Country Cup on the Gold Coast in January.
Dean Watt has just completed the syndication of his younger half-brother by Testa Rossa.
More Strawberries was racing first-up since April in the Tibbie Plate. She had won at G2 level in the Furious Stakes and Tea Rose Stakes in the spring before coming up empty at the autumn carnival.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse for owner-breeder John Singelton, the More Than Ready mare opened up a two length break at the furlong before holding out late closer Skyerush.
“She had a really good blow after we pulled up,” jockey Nash Rawiller said. “She had to dig deep near the line but to her credit she gave plenty.”
More Strawberries carried 57kg at Newcastle and will drop 5kg for her next assignment in the G1 Epsom Hcp. Singleton will send her to Melbourne but she will avoid stablemate More Joyous.