Darren Weir is excited to saddle latest stable acquisition El Divino for the first time in Saturday’s Listed Kensington Stakes (1200m) down the famous Flemington straight.
El Divino began his career under the guidance of Australia’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse and immediately made an impact in his debut campaign, through the late stages of the 2016 Autumn Carnival.
Having failed to improve through his three Spring Carnival starts however, connections decided that a change of scenery and state would be best for the three-year-old’s chances of a return to winning form.
A half-brother to equine super star Winx, Weir is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to train El Divino and is confident that he is in the right shape to run well in the Kensington Stakes 2017.
“He’s come down to our beach stable and he’s settled in very well,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“He’s trialled up well and I’m looking forward to seeing him run first-up.
“With the pedigree he’s got, it would be nice to win a good race with him one day, but we’ll get through Saturday first and work it out after that.”
Owing to his pedigree, plenty of hype surround El Divino’s racing debut and the horse did not disappoint when he comfortably put away a field of seven maiden’s by more than five lengths at Gosford on March 17th last year.
Making only one other appearance as a two-year-old, the Snitzel colt locked in a fierce sprint battle with subsequent Group 1 winner Astern in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) during The Championships before finishing in a dead heat with the Godolphin star.
Trialling well in the lead-up to his Spring Carnival campaign, the colt out of Vegas Showgirl appeared to be in line for another glittering season when he ran on for fourth amongst classy company in the Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m), but was returned to the paddock after finishing seventh in both the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m).
Weir will also saddle Hellbent first-up in the Kensington Stakes and believes that the classy sprinter will take benefit from the run.
“He’s a really exciting horse. He’s got terrific ability, we’ve just got to get it out of him,” Weir said.
The 2017 Kensington Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday (January 25th).