DARREN Weir shrugged his shoulders after coming within a nose of winning the listed Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap yesterday.
His runner Blackie flashed home from deep in the field and in a bobbing finish, was edged out by the Peter Moody-trained Kneeling.
Weir needed to win the Wangoom Handicap to clinch the $41,103 Mercedes-Benz on offer to a trainer with four winners, including a feature.
But in the fine print, any trainer can only have two runners in any race. Weir had three in yesterday’s Wangoom and nominated stablemates Lord Of Brazil and Anlon. Both were unplaced.
“I didn’t know which one to leave out,” Weir said. “It was a good run (by Blackie).”
He later said he thought Blackie’s poor first-up record influenced his decision.
“I just thought 60 kilos first up on the heavier ground, he might be a bit suspect,” Weir said.
“You don’t want to take any notice of me.”
Weir, who had three winners yesterday, can still claim the car today if either of his runners — hot favourite Akzar or Tuesday’s open handicap winner Shiny Buttons — claim the listed $200,000 Sungold Milk Warrnambool Cup (2350m). Weir has enjoyed a strong two days at the carnival. He has produced five winners, three seconds and three thirds from 28 runners.
While yesterday’s Galleywood Hurdle was one of the feature races needed to claim the car, the victory by his jumper Gotta Take Care didn’t count because there were seven runners, one less than the minimum set out in the conditions of the trainer’s bonus.