Ballarat trainer Darren Weir will be looking for more feature race success after he quinellaed the Listed $100,000 Sir Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Weir will target Monash winner Platelet and runner up Royal Bender towards the Group 3 $125,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28 and is hoping for another black type win.
“It’s hard enough to get a winner, let alone the quinella,” Weir said.
“After they’d gone 300m I thought they were all just where I wanted them to be, and that’s how it panned out, except for Rue Maple.”
“I was happy with the order of the three of them going into the race, but other than Platelet, who had won a Group 3 race, I wasn’t sure whether the others were up to it.”
Weir also had five year old Rue Maple in the Monash and after racing with the leaders faded to finish thirteenth and was subsequently found to be lame in the off fore leg after the race when inspected by the club’s veterinary surgeon.
“If she is anything she is tough,” Weir said of Platelet after the three year old’s win.
“She can handle all kinds of tracks and she’s brave and she’s got above average ability.”
“It’s hard to ask for more.”
Weir is having one of his best years and has trained 167 winners overall and is third in the national trainers premiership behind Caulfield trainer Peter Moody on 200, and Peter Snowden on 178 and has trained twenty-four Melbourne metropolitan winners for the season.
“We’ve got a great team,” Weir said.
“The system we’ve got in place has come together really well, it’s all going right.”
Former Perth apprentice Damian Lane teamed up with Weir to score on Platelet and wrapped up a winning double on the Will Clarken trained Slim Henry is the very next race.
Lane is now apprenticed to Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra at Flemington but travels to Ballarat when required to ride in trials for Weir and was very excited to ride a winner for the stable.
“I was thrilled the owners stuck with me,” Lane said.
Lane is also having a good year in the saddle and is running fourth in the Melbourne apprentice’s premiership with fifteen metropolitan wins behind the injured Katelyn Mallyon who heads the list on twenty-three.
Luke Nolen has edged one win clear of Craig Newitt as the lead changed hands at Caulfield on Saturday with Newitt riding an early double before Nolen bounced back with two winners late in the day, taking his tally to sixty-eight.