VINERY stayer Cuban Sunday’s prospects of competing in either the Caulfield Cup or Metropolitan Hcp this Spring took a turn for the better when the son of Benicio came from well back to bag the Group 3 MRC Slickpix (1700m) in Melbourne yesterday.
The five-year-old gelding started $26 in the 16-horse field despite coming off a fast finishing 0.2-lens second in Benchmark 89 over a similar trip at Flemington three weeks prior.
Patiently ridden by ex-Kiwi hoop Michael Walker, Cuban Sunday had only two behind him on settling and was still among the tailing group as the field turned for home.
Once balanced up, Cuban Sunday let down with a burst of acceleration that saw him power over the top of over fellow 5YO gelding Ebony Rock (Fastnet Rock) & Streets Away (Street Cry) to land the prize much to the delight on ‘new’ trainer Pat Carey.
“He (Michael Walker) rode the race from a wide draw to get back and take his chances through the race,” Carey said.
“He rode it great, he got no interruptions in the run and was able to get into top gear and gee, he finished strong. It was a fantastic win.
“(Cuban Sunday) ran really well at Flemington and probably just got held up at a vital time and the result was the result.
“He came to me in very good order and he just came down to Mornington for a change of scenery and he’s done well since.”
Cuban Sunday is a member of VRC Derby hero Benicio’s first crop and is out of a mare by the immortal Sunday Silence and took his record to 5 wins & 4 placings from 17 starts for $165,905 earnings
That mare, Magical Sunday, is a full-sister to Japan Derby winner Tayasu Tsuyoshi who stood in Australia for five seasons from 2000 to 2006.
His 90 individual winners locally included six stakeswinners led by the VRC Oaks and Vinery Stud Stakes winner, Hollow Bullet.
Magical Sunday most recent foal – a colt by Big Brown – was sold for $80,000 at this year’s National Weanling Sale.