Fri, May 5, 11:42am by Senior Writer
Having dominated the Warrnambool Carnival like no other trainer in history, Australia’s premier trainer Darren Weir turns his attention to Flemington this Saturday, where he saddles up nine runners.
Weir trained an extraordinary 14 winners from 30 races this week, building on his legend. Those 14 winners came from just 46 starters and included the two feature flat races of the week, the Wangoom Handicap and the Warrnambool Cup.
The average price of the 14 winners was $6.90. If you had $10 on every Darren Weir horse for the week, you would have ended up winning about $500.
I feel he can add at least another two winners to his record amount of winners this weekend in races at Flemington and Adelaide.
My best bet of the day, is his promising mare Zasorceress, Race 6. No.2.
WATCH: Our Preview of Flemington on Saturday
Now Zasorceress has not won in her past five starts, and has let punters down a bit over that time, but we’ve all been waiting for her to get up to the 2000m at Flemington.
On her day, she’s a very talented horse, and this looks the ideal race for her. It’s a BM84 race which is a lot easier than she has contested before. She does go up in weight but that is offset slightly by Ben Allen’s 2kg claim. She around the $2.40 range at this stage which is a little bit skinny, but given everything Weir has achieved this week, we are happy to be on her.
Looking for value, I’ll put forward Race 8. No.6 Sirbible, the pride of Alice Springs. Sirbible is a flying machine, and although he’s never been down the Flemington straight before, I think this is a race where he can go to the front and prove very hard to run down.
He’s best form is probably around 1200m, including a third in the Australia Stakes at the Valley earlier this year, but that doesn’t concern me. He drawn the inside alley, which so long as the track plays fair and doesn’t suit the outside fence, should be good for him. He can get along that inside rail, pinch a break and hopefully prove hard to hold out. At $16, I’m happy to be on him and find out.
I think Weir can win another Group 1 on Saturday with Kenedna in the Schweppes Oaks. She’s around $3.20 favourite at this stage.
In the Robert Sangster, our old mate Sheidel is around $5 there and to me is an excellent chance of adding another Group 1 to her resume. For those looking for an absolute roughie, Selenia is currently $81. I think she’s a very good filly.
Here’s my race by race preview for the entire Flemington meeting on Saturday.
Race 1 Chairman’s Club Hcp – 1800m
1st: 6. Sadaqa ($4.40)
2nd: 10. War Legend ($5.50)
3rd: 1. Articus ($10)
4th: 4. Extra Zero ($17)
Summary: Very even race, but we are back on the Sadaqa train as he seems to be in career best form. We were on him when he ran third at Flemington four runs back and since then, he has bloomed, winning at Caulfield and Flemington his past two with strong front running efforts. That can continue here. War Legend comes back in company from his sixth in the Easter Cup. He stays down nicely in the weights. The Weir horse Articus is capable of winning this as well, while Extra Zero can show up here as well.
Race 2 Vintage Crop Hcp – 2800m
1st: 3. De Little Engine ($2.60)
2nd: 2. Mujadale ($7.50)
3rd: 4. Lucques ($4.80)
4th: 5. Refectory ($7)
Summary: An old-fashioned staying race, with De Little Engine seemingly well placed for his first win in over 550 days. He had a let up after his solid run in the Adelaide Cup and came back with a very good second behind a good horse at Caulfield. He beat Hans Holbien that day who is a subsequent eight length winner. Has a strong record this course and distance. Mujadale wound back the clock with a tough win in the Stawell Cup last time. He also loves the 2800m around here and is the main threat. Lucques is as honest as the day is long, but on margins, not sure he can beat home De Little Engine. Refectory comes back off a 4000m win and will no doubt be running on stoutly at the end again.
Race 3 Phar Lap Club Plate – 1100m
1st: 1. Freeze Over ($3.80)
2nd: 13. River Jewel ($10)
3rd: 9. Elle Gagne ($7.50)
4th: 3. Hot Girl Wanted ($11)
Summary: Tough race, with many of them unraced. Freeze Over was a good winner at her first start before having issues last time out. As long as she’s recovered from that, she can be right in the finish here. River Jewel, who is from a good juvenile family and is prepared by David Hayes, is a real watch. Elle Gagne won a trial by a lap at Cranbourne recently and can measure up. Hot Girl Wanted has been ok her two runs.
Race 4 Comedy King Hcp – 1400m
1st: 13. Orient Line ($13)
2nd: 12. Give Us A Go ($11)
3rd: 9. The New Boy ($11)
4th: Kaniana ($34)
Summary: Hard even race, but could be some value with Orient Line. He’s a bit of a ‘gunna’ horse, but is surely closing in on a win and has just 54kg. Give Us A Go was a really good winner at Bendigo before disappointing last time up in class. This looks a much better race for her. The New Boy is an honest horse at his ideal trip. I would expect substantial improvement from Kaniana third-up at really big odds.
Race 5 indian Summer Hcp – 1200m
1st: 2. Overstep ($3.80)
2nd: 1. Savaju ($7)
3rd: 3. Mandee ($14)
4th: 7. Divine Quality ($3.50)
Summary: Nice fillies race this. Overstep can win here having had little luck last time out when blocked for a couple of runs. Should settle closer from barrier one and get home over the top of them. Savaju has been good at her past two runs at Bendigo. Back to Flemington where she far from disgraced herself when beaten by five lengths by I Am A Star in the Kewney. Mandee has made progress here two starts this campaign and can be competitive again in this race. Divine Quality smashed them at her first start and clearly has ability. Inexperience is the worry for me in this race.
Race 6. Women Trainers Hcp – 2000m
1st: 2. Zasorceress ($2.40)
2nd: 4. Monogram ($13)
3rd: 6. Hot Ruby ($6.50)
4th: 1. Yulong Baby ($26)
Summary: Very winnable mares race for Zasorceress. She’s been crying out for a win this campaign and this presents itself well against relatively moderate opposition. Monogram will relish the step up to 2000m, having won once and placed once from three starts over this distance. Hot Ruby’s sole 2000m run was a third at Caulfield in January. She looks in good nick and can measure up to this. Yulong Baby looks silly odds when you look at both her 2000m form (two wins) and her second-up record which reads one win and three placings from four starts.
Race 7 Primacy Hcp – 1400m
1st: 3. Widgee Turf ($3.40)
2nd: 4. Fanfaron ($8)
3rd: 10. Soho Ruby ($8.50)
4th: 2. Capannello ($21)
Summary: This looks a good race for Widgee Turf. He returned with a close-up sixth at Caulfield last week and off the quick back up and up to 1400m, where he never missed a place, looks ideal to me Track and distance winner back in December. We were on Fanfaron at nice odds last time, but he could only finish fourth. He will come on for that third-up run and the switch back to the 1400m, where he has won twice, looks a good move. Soho Ruby’s last two runs have been good. Should measure up to these, while Capannello out to 1400m could see him return to form.
Race 8 Sports Hcp – 1000m
1st: 6. Sirbible ($16)
2nd: 2. Malibu Style ($5)
3rd: 1. Under The Louvre ($7)
4th: 15. Nasdex ($12)
Summary: These 1000m races are never easy, and to be honest not one of the 17 runners winning would shock. Having said that, happy to back Sirbible to prosper down the Flemington straight for the first time. He’s fast and tough and could just get away from them here early in the race. Malibu Style was brilliant second-up in Victoria. Back from 1100m to 1000m is probably the one concern. Under The Louvre is a Group 1 winner who resumes here. At his best he wins this, even with the big weight, but may be one or two runs away yet with a defence of his Stradbroke win in 2016 no doubt the agenda. Nasdex is a little speed machine with just 54kg here.
Race 9 True Version Hcp – 1600m
1st: 5. Amarela ($11)
2nd: 4. Hokkaido ($31)
3rd: 7. Steggler ($5.50)
4th: 14. Kansas Sunflower ($11)
Summary: Even race to finish off. Thought Amerela was excellent last time. She doesn’t win a lot but she looks to have come back very well this campaign and if she doesn’t win Saturday it will be shortly afterwards. Hokkaido has had a great campaign before striking a wet track last time. Can improve back on top of the ground and is big odds. Steggler will improve from his first-up run and given Weir’s recent run of success, you can see why he’ll start close to favourite. Kansas Sunflower broke through for a much overdue win last time and was scratched from Warrnambool to run here. Has never missed a place at Flemington in three runs.
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