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After nearly 12 months on the sidelines due to injury Darren Weir’s comeback galloper Magnifique Soleil capped off their returning campaign with a nail biting win in the 2013 Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington on the weekend.
The Desert Sun five-year-old has been plagued by injuries and setbacks over their 21-start career, nine of which they have won after their success in Saturday’s $150,000 TROA/Luxbet Listed Winter Championship Series Final (1600m).
Three runs back after spending just under a year out of the racing action due to three tendon injuries requiring two stem-cell treatments, Magnifique Soleil overcame barrier 12 of 12 in the final improving on their lead-up 12th place heat finish to defeat Clanga’s Glory ($11) by a mere nose.
“It’s not only a great effort by him but also my staff at Warrnambool who have got him right again,” Weir said post-win.
“The owners have never given up on him, they deserve this.
“We had this race in mind if he stood up and he ran terrifically first up
“We weren’t too sure why he ran below par last start but it was a good tough win today.”
In a blanket Winter Championship Final trifecta the Quinton Scott-trained Another Prelate, $5 equal favourite with Magnifique Soleil, was only a long neck off the winner before Peter Moody’s last start Moonee Valley winning mare Dayita ($12) crossed over three lengths away fourth for the top four payouts.
Winning jockey Ben Melham, who has ridden three Group 1 winners this season, was made to work for the win after jumping from the extreme outside barrier 12 and was pleased with the winners’ effort.
“When he was caught three deep I was happy to sit off them with cover and get a trail into the race”, he said.
“When he was challenged he really picked up to go on and win.”
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2013 Winter Championship Series Final Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 6 – 06/07/2013
|1||4||MAGNIFIQUE SOLEIL||Darren Weir||Ben Melham||–||12||56.5kg||$5EF|
|2||13||CLANGA’S GLORY||Andrew J Payne||Jack Hill||0.1L||4||54kg||$11|
|3||5||ANOTHER PRELATE||Quinton Scott||Craig Robertson||0.2L||3||56kg||$5EF|
|4||8||DAYITA||Peter G Moody||Michael Walker||3.45L||2||54kg||$12|
|5||9||STORM BURST||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4.7L||1||54kg||$11|
|6||3||BLACKIE (NZ)||Jarrod McLean||Chris Symons||7.45L||10||56.5kg||$11|
|7||6||ROCKPECKER||Ken Fythe||Stephen Baster||9.2L||5||55.5kg||$31|
|8||12||UNDER THE HAT||John Sadler||Thomas Sadler (a)||9.4L||7||54kg||$6.50|
|9||2||GLANEUSE||Michael O’Leary||Ms Linda Meech||9.9L||6||57.5kg||$12|
|10||11||HOLLOWLEA||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Matthew Neilson||11.15L||9||54kg||$20|
|11||1||THE CLEANER||Robert Smerdon||Craig Newitt||12.15L||11||60kg||$6.50|
|12||7||TESTASCANA||Mick Cerchi||Luke Currie||13.65L||8||55.5kg||$26|
|–||10||ULUNDI||Shea Eden||Vlad Duric||–||0||–||–|
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