Darren Weir has At First Sight, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Mobaco in the 2014 Ballarat Cup field and the leading trainer believes that all three will need to improve on their recent form to be a winning chance in the Listed event this weekend.
Hurdy Gurdy Man finished a credible third behind The Offer in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) last year, but has not been particularly impressive in his three race starts this preparation including an eighth place finish in the Ararat Gold Cup (2000m) on November 9.
Weir told Racing Ahead that the Ararat Gold Cup has always been the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Hurdy Gurdy Man, but he believes that the Street Cry entire is not performing well enough to win the Ballarat Cup on Saturday.
“He has been aimed at this race all preparation and he is in the right order, but I would think we would have to improve a bit on what he has done,” Weir said.
“He had a good strong gallop yesterday over 2000 metres and worked well and he is going to present there in really good order, but I would think he will have to go a little bit better than what he has been.”
At First Sight was placed at Group 1 level in the United Kingdom and finished tenth in the 2011 edition of the Melbourne Cup, but he spent almost three years away from racing before he was purchased by the Weir stable in May.
The Galileo gelding produced his best performance since returning to racing when second in the Ararat Gold Cup, but Weir feels that the seven-year-old had every chance to take out the race and would need to go to another level to take out the Ballarat Cup.
“He is going well,” Weir said.
“I must say I thought he had every possible chance at Ararat and if he only brings that form to Ballarat he wouldn’t be good enough, but we are hoping that he has taken a bit of benefit from that run.
“He has improved a bit, but he would need to improve.
“Whether he has lost that will to win a bit I am not sure, but there still would be improvement in him condition wise.”
Mobaco was purchased by OTI Racing at the end of 2012 and made his Australian racing debut at Moonee Valley on August 23, but has not been particularly impressive in his three race starts this preparation and Weir admits that the Slickly gelding deserves his place
“He is not going that well either,” Weir said.
“Just on form it doesn’t look like we have a strong team in the Ballarat Cup, but they are all in good order so hopefully they get their chance.”
Epingle and Pheidon have not been included in the Ballarat Cup field, but the Weir-trained trio still face stiff competition in the form of Tuscan Fire, Count Of Limonade and Hvasstan.