Honest mare Midnight Martini has bolstered her black type record with a comfortable victory in the $300 000, Group 2 Matriarch Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Michael Rodd drives Midnight Martini to a comfortable victory in the Matriarch, picture sportpix.com.au
With all eyes on last start Crystal Mile winner Silent Achiever, Midnight Martini upstaged the even money favourite in this afternoon’s Group 2 Matriarch Stakes. Sitting just behind a slow tempo set by Khandallah, the Mark Kavanagh-trained mare appeared to be travelling like the winner a long way from home. While race favourite Silent Achiever settled back and peeled wide turning for home, Micahel Rodd still hadn’t moved on Midnight Martini.
The leading jockey only began to ask from her at the 250m and the five-year-old responded well, holding off her rivals to claim a three-quarter length success from Lake Sententia (Darren Weir. Crafty Irna (Ron Quinton) finished in third 0.25L back. The time was 2.03.15 on the Dead 4 track with the last 600m in a speedy 35.30.
Today’s Matriarch Stakes (2000m) win was a well executed plan according to trainer Mark Kavanagh.
“He (Rodd) knows her backwards. She rolled forward and he was able to put her to sleep on the fence which was always the plan.”
“It was a bit of a tricky draw and he could have been trapped one out facing the breeze which may have made the difference.
“She is a good mare on the way up and we’re more than happy with today’s effort.”
Winning rider Michael Rodd has partnered the mare during 12 of her 19 career starts combining with the five-year-old to claim four wins and three minor placings.
Midnight Martini’s Matriarch Stakes victory is her first at Group level with the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) success two starts ago now taking a backseat.
“We had a beautiful run and she needed to have that today,” Rodd said.
“She needed everything to pan out like it did with the chances out the back and her to be smoking up on the pace.
“I was able to hold onto her today and that’s what you’ve got to do because she only gives you a little, short burst but that but is good enough to win a race.”
Midnight Martini, picture sportpix.com.au
Midnight Martini, by Street Cry out of the Zabeel mare, Benvenuta, recorded her seventh victory for owners Mill Park Stud, Mr T J Robertson, Mr B H Perks, Mr R B Fairclough taking her earnings to $517 098.