BALLARAT trainer Darren Weir has made one race simply his own in the past few years – The Sungold Milk Warrnambool Cup (2000m).
Weir won his fourth straight cup on Thursday, a history making effort as smart galloper High Church ($2.40 favourite) dominated to win by six lengths.
The late Jim Cerchi is the next best cup trainer with three winners – Top Ware (1981), Top Banner (1987) and Dandy Andy (1988).
Weir was humble after the win, giving credit to his jockey Damian Lane.
“He got to the right part of the ground. The boys had a plan to follow, Damian and Darren (Murphy, ex-jockey) went out and walked the track. I didn’t have anything to do with that,” he said.
“They said we need to get to the outside fence in the straight, that‘s the best going. Damian rode him beautiful; and the horse went terrific. They did the tactics and got it right.”
Weir said preparing 14 winners surpassed all expectations.
“It’s great, pretty interesting. It’s been an amazing carnival. We didn’t expect that when we first came down here,” he said.
“All the horses have gone really well, all the boys have rode them really well and the crew out the back are working really hard to get them there.”
The trainer said the success had a flow-on effect.
“All around it was a great week. I reckon there might be a bit of a party tonight,” he said.
“Ballarat and Warrnambool are both very important parts of our training operations. We swap them from stable to stable and just put them down as that stable where they are on the day.”
Weir also has to come up with plans for High Church, with a trip to the Brisbane carnival on the agenda for the six-year-old bay gelding.
“His action suggests he would appreciate a bit of give in the ground,” he said.
“When you work him on firm tracks he doesn’t quite work as good as a track with a bit of cut in it. I thought the going would have been ideal today.
“He got into a nice rhythm out the back. From the 600-metre-mark he started to track out, you knew he was going to get to the right part of the track and from there be somewhere near them in the run to the finish.”
The mentor said the Warrnambool Cup had been the goal for High Church and further thought would be put into future plans.
“There’s good staying races over the Brisbane carnival,” he said.
“We had two or three chances today and this was their goal. Winning a fourth cup is enormous. Next year we may not get a winner,” he said when it was suggested the May races be renamed to the Weir-nambool carnival.