DARREN Weir is on track to better his career-best eight wins at one May Racing Carnival after notching four on day one.
A specially-made cake honouring the Ballarat-based trainer’s efforts at the time-honoured event was presented to him after he won his 50th race at the event on Tuesday.
Tick Tick Bloom’s success in race nine – his third of the day – was enough to bring up the milestone.
Damian Lane rode the $10.40 chance to victory in the 1700-metre City of Warrnambool handicap.
Weir added a fourth winner – the Brad Rawiller-ridden Royal Ace – in the final race on the opening day.
His other victories came via Ancient Kingdom (3200 maiden hurdle) and Miss Benedetta (1100m BM64 handicap).
The victories were the perfect 47th birthday present for Weir, who has satellite stables in Warrnambool.
Jockey John Allen, who rode $1.80 favourite Ancient King, said he was pleased to deliver on his trainer’s special day.
"It was a good birthday present for Weiry," he said.
"It's good to get a winner on the board. He's not very big and the jumps were bigger today because of the heavy track.
"He jumped good. I was quite confident, he had the form on the board.
"The last mile to 1400 metres there was a good tempo. We got the perfect run and he was too good.”
Weir said Ancient King – the 2016 Colac Cup winner – had recovered well from a tendon injury.
“He showed a bit last season and unfortunately he just got a little bit of a suspensory tear there,” he said.
“It was very minor but we just had to stop him.”
Weir said Ancient King entered the May races in top nick.
“He’s had a faultless preparation so far, very sound and he’s schooled well,” he said.
“Johnny was pretty confident coming here today.”
Horsham jockey Dean Yendall said Miss Benedetta pushed through to deliver.
"The only concern was the going. I kept her head and I don't think she really handled it but got through it (the heavy going),” he said.
"She had an easy time outside the leader. She gave me a good kick after the turn. She's got a good little motor. She's a beauty.”
Jockey Damian Lane was pleased with Tick Tick Bloom’s form in race nine, saying the horse had taken great benefit from her first-up run at Caulfield after joining the Weir stable from Western Australia.
"She started building into the race from the 700 (metre-mark) and before I knew it I was right in it," he said.
"She loves the heavy ground. She fronted up today a bit fitter and that's helped her win."