Lisa Latta has decided against another trip to Ellerslie with Five To Midnight before his bid on the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) next month.
Five To Midnight’s last two runs have been at Ellerslie, resulting in a third to Zacada in the Gr.2 Laser Plumbing Te Puke Avondale Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day and an unlucky second behind Charles Road in the Gr.3 Windsor Park Stud City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) on Karaka Million evening.
Rather than head back up to Ellerslie to top off Five To Midnight’s Auckland Cup preparation with a run in the Westinghouse Nathan’s Memorial (2400m) at Ellerslie on Saturday week, the Awapuni trainer plans to wait a week and start him in the Listed Marks Ewen & Associates Kaimai Stakes (2000m) at Matamata on February 24.
“I didn’t want another long trip to Auckland with him,” Latta said. “He can go to Matamata. It’s not as far to go and he can be back home here that night.
“He’s done well since the City Of Auckland. He’s freshened up and been back in the stable for three or four days and is looking good.”