Master Of Arts has continued trainer Darren Weir’s dominance this week; producing a perfectly-timed sprint to take out the featured 2016 Warrnambool Cup (2350m) this afternoon.
Master Of Arts’ stable mate Master Zephyr was rated a clear race favourite leading into jump at Warrnambool this afternoon, but the four-year-old did his chances of an upset no harm when leaving well and taking a good position within the field from the out.
Holding off the pace set by Café Society, Straight Jacket and Ultimate Doom past the post the first time and over the back straight, jockey Dean Yendall peeled the Mastercraftman entire off the fence approaching the final straight as the tempo lifted.
Immediately responding when asked for an extra effort, Master Of Arts locked in a fierce sprint battle with several more-fancied runners in the final 300m but pulled clear to find the line more than a length ahead of Vilanova.
Yendall delivered a gem of a ride on Master Of Arts to win the Warrnambool Cup but was quick to lay all the praise on his classy mount in the victory.
“We knew he had a horse, it was just a matter of if he was going to be good enough today,” Yendall said after crossing the line.
“We just had a lovely run, with a bit of cover and we found the right part of the track when we needed to and he was really strong through the line. Gee, he gave me a good feel.
“I was pretty mindful to just let him be and do his own thing early, and just found a lovely spot to switch him off and put him in the race at the right time.”
Master Of Arts was Weir’s eighth winner for the 2016 Warrnambool Carnival, and the trainer was understandably pleased with the horse’s performance and result.
“Its been a great week,” Weir said after the race.
“It’s nice to win a nice race with him.
“He got the right ride from Dean. There were paths they were hoping to get to and they got the job done.”
Master Zephyr loomed as the horse to beat as jockey Brad Rawiller cut the corner and found the lead in the early stages of the final straight, but the four-year-old quickly fell off the pace on the heavy conditions.
“It probably didn’t work out ideal for Master Zephyr, but that’s racing,” Weir added.
Weir has made the Warrnambool Cup is own through recent years; saddling Akzar to success in 2014 and Tall Ship to victory in the race’s 2015 edition.