Martini gives Kav reason to celebrate

THE horror run for punters continued in the Matriarch Stakes with favourite Silent Achiever toppled, but the run of outs for trainer Mark Kavanagh ended with Midnight Martini back to her best in the group 2 contest.

Kavanagh had endured a frustrating run on his home track at Flemington since winning the Michelton Wines Vase with Super Cool on Cox Plate day, with that runner backing up to finish second in the Victoria Derby and a handful of others beaten out of sight in minor races.

But he struck back on Saturday with his sole representative saluting in fine style.

''It was our last throw at the stumps and I'm glad we won,'' Kavanagh said.

''The favourites had been tipping over during the week and the thing about her is that she was the most consistent horse in the race so we thought she might have a good chance.

''It hasn't been the best carnival for us although we've had three group 1 placings and three group 2 winners from the start, so really, four or five years ago I would have been pretty happy with that.''

Midnight Martini was beaten in a moderately run race at Moonee Valley last start when she failed to sprint fast enough to catch the winner, Mourinho, however, she showed a much better turn of foot on Saturday when sitting just behind the leaders before quickening to a race-winning break. Up-and-coming mare Lake Sententia battled on to hold second place from the strong finishing Crafty Irna in third, while Silent Achiever could only manage fourth place, a length and a half from the winner.

''No excuses really. I thought I would just win at the 200m but she didn't let go,'' jockey Hugh Bowman said.

The winner provided jockey Michael Rodd with his third feature win of the Flemington carnival and his third on board a classy female, having scored on mare Appearance in the group 1 Myer Classic on Derby day and on two-year-old filly Villa Verde on Cup day, and he was thrilled that Midnight Martini was able to prevail.

''She's just so honest, so consistent, she's a great mare and deserves a win like this,'' Rodd said.

Having previously secured her first-black type win with an impressive victory in the listed Cranbourne Cup, Midnight Martini reached a career peak on Saturday with the group 2 win and added some important value to her already impressive pedigree.

By Street Cry, a sire whose progeny Kavanagh has had a knack of coaxing to feature race successes, Midnight Martini is now a valuable broodmare prospect and looks likely to improve on her record of seven wins from 19 starts when she returns for an autumn campaign.

This story Martini gives Kav reason to celebrate first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.