DARREN Weir found himself in unfamiliar territory today, but he quite liked the experience.
Weir, the leading trainer in Australia for the past two seasons, prepared Dalradian to win the $250,000 Inglis Banner (1000 m) at Moonee Valley. He could not remember the last time, if ever, he’d prepared a two-year-old winner before Christmas.
Dalradian, a $55,000 purchase on the recommendation of his bloodstock consultant John Foote, collected $137,500 for his owners with his half head win over Valliano, $7, in a head-bobbing finish.
And, Dalradian, a debut winner at Bendigo over 900 m a week ago landed a host of decent bets as he was backed from $12 to $6 favorite.
Weir said he liked Dalradian, a son of Reward For Effort from the O’Reilly mare Miss Ireland, from the first time he entered the stable. He said he has “plenty” of juveniles, but rarely “tries them”.
“But this guy was a precocious sort of horse. He’s been a professional horse from the get-go, he’s been very sound, begins well and put himself in the race,” Weir said.
“We trialled him with this race in mind, but he didn’t go that well so we decided to go to Bendigo last week. He got the job done well at Bendigo, ate well and worked okay during the week.
Bred and sold by Chatswood Stud at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Dalradian was a $55,000 purchase for his trainer, in conjunction with John Foote Bloodstock and managing owner David Speechley.