Midnight hour for Yarradale Stud

Yarradale Stud is buzzing ahead of an exciting weekend both at home at abroad.

Yarradale’s new Danzig sire War Chant will give the Sunspeed stud a tremendous boost if his son Midnight Interlude wins the G1 Kentucky Derby in the early hours of Sunday morning Perth time.

And shortly after the Kentucky Derby is run and won, Yarradale will conduct its third yearling sale on site at Gidgegannup.

Midnight Interlude (3c War Chant – Midnight Kiss by Groom Dancer) is on the fourth line of betting for the Kentucky Derby and he put the finishing touches on his preparation with a brilliant gallop on Monday morning.

The Bob Baffert trained colt, who is a last-start winner of the G1 Santa Anita Derby, turned in the fastest time over 1000m clocking 60.80s on a rain-affected track.

Midnight Interlude will be Bob Baffert’s lone starter in the Kentucky Derby after the Hall Of Fame trainer announced his G2 Rebel Stakes winner The Factor (War Front) will be set for the Preakness Stakes.

“He was happy and he handled the mud very well,” Baffert said after the hit-out.  “We can’t do anything about the track’s condition.  If it rains on Derby Day at least we’ve been over a wet track.  And when it was dry here last week, he galloped real good.”

Midnight Interlude has raced only four times after making his debut until January.  “He’s still green and is still learning,” Baffert said.  “He’s still figuring it out.”

A homebred racing for Arnold Zetcher, Midnight Interlude captured the Santa Anita Derby by a head over Comma to the Top last month.  “When Comma to the Top took off at Santa Anita, he was completely lost for a while.  Victor (Espinoza) had to really get into him before he realized he had to catch the other horse.

“I’m just glad to be here with a horse like him.  At least he’s doing well and he’s thriving.  Whether he can take the next step forward, we’ll find out Saturday.”

Baffert, who has won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002), said this year’s Run for the Roses is wide open.  “When there’s not a standout, everybody thinks it’s not that tough of a field, but I think it’s a tough field.

“You need a horse that is moving forward in the Kentucky Derby and can go the distance.  Midnight Interlude has been improving every day and he looked like he was wanting more ground at Santa Anita.”

Yarradale Stud secured the lifetime southern breeding rights to War Chant last month.  Yarradale proprietor Ron Sayers is syndicating the Three Chimneys sire with other leading Sunspeed breeders and stand him for $22,000 (inc gst).