Weir cracks 100 winners with Palentino

MELBOURNE Mar 18 2017

Darren Weir ticked off his second milestone for the day when Palentino gave the trainer his 100th victory in Melbourne for the season in Saturday's Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

Weir won his first Sydney race when Big Duke got the verdict on protest in the Group Three Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill earlier in the day, but the trainer had an easier watch in the Group Two Blamey Stakes.

Weir prepared 104 Melbourne winners last season but looks set to shatter the local record of 115 wins in a season set by Lee Freedman in the 2005/06 season in the last four months of the 2016/17 term.

A stable accident forced Weir to scratch top performer Black Heart Bart from the $200,000 race but had the favourite Tosen Stardom, who firmed from $1.85 to $1.65 in betting, in the race along with Palentino and Real Love.

A dual Group One winner, Palentino eased from $4 to $5.50 but was the dominant runner in the Blamey Stakes, strolling to a 3-1/4 length win over Tosen Stardom.

Weir said improved racing manners allowed the stallion to return to his best over the Flemington 1600m course, over which the stallion has won three of his four starts.

"He got the right spot, he got behind the right horse and they went at the right tempo, but he's his own worst enemy at times but it's great to see him back to his best again today," Weir said.

"He won by a large margin but that was more the fact that he did everything right."

Victoria-based breeders Sun Stud bought into Palentino as a stallion prospect during his three-year-old season.

Weir said the four-year-old could head to stud next season with nothing left to prove.

"From my point of view, the horse doesn't have to do anything else," Weir said.

"He has done his job and he's a great horse with a nice pedigree and he's certainly going to make into a good stallion.

"If they (Sun Stud) go that way, he's done his job for us."

Palentino's win capped a feature double for Mark Zahra, who also claimed the Group Three TBV Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1200m) on Shoals for the Lee and Anthony Freedman stable.



- AAP

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