Darren Weir’s in-form Ballarat galloper Broken enjoyed their first Group race success at Flemington on the weekend taking out the Aurie’s Star Handicap 2013.
The veteran Halo Homewrecker seven-year-old came off a nice third over the 1000m at Moonee Valley just seven days earlier and went out as a $10 chance in Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).
They relished a drop back from 57kg last start to their 54kg lightweight though with Luke Nolen guiding them to a nice quarter length win over the 2011 Aurie’s Star winner Temple Of Boom ($5.50) after hitting the front with 300m left to travel.
“The horse has been racing terrific without luck and the drop to the 54kg today really helped,” Weir told Racing Victoria after the win.
Adding value to the Aurie’s Star trifecta was then the Nick Harnett-trained outsider Cavallo Nero ($21) who was just a nose further back in third.
Race favourite Riziz ($2.60) meanwhile was far from disgraced when two lengths off the winner in fifth just ahead of dual Group 1 winner Luckygray ($6) who had some trouble with the 60kg topweight.
It was a particularly pleasing Aurie’s Star result for trainer Weir as it was Broken’s first win over further than 1000m and broke a lengthy winning drought of nearly 12 months with the galloper’s last victory being in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at the Valley in August last year.
“Even though he’s never won beyond 1000 metres, his recent runs have suggested that he’s been looking for 1200 metres, the ground was perfect, he loves the straight and it was a terrific ride,” Weir said before crediting the ride by the winning jockey.
“I just said to Luke you’ve just got to get a bit of cover and wait for as long as you can and get him as wide as you can in the straight and he produced a great ride.”
Nolen meanwhile believed it was the horse’s fitness that gave them the advantage in the Aurie’s Star with many of the other major players in the field resuming for the coming spring season.
“He was the fit horse and you have to take advantage while the higher-class horses still have improvement left in them,” Nolen said on Saturday.
“He was quite convincing on the line, he’s never looked like winning a 1200 metre race before but it was good to see him get the job done today over some good quality horses today.”
Brisbane’s Tony Gollan was far from disappointed with the second-up effort of Temple Of Boom meanwhile, the Piccolo seven-year-old resuming for the season.
“He’s seven and it doesn’t get easier to prepare them for a first-up win. Also they went slowly, which didn’t help him,” Gollan told the Herald Sun.
Also happy with their horse’s run was Jim Conlan who said his seventh placed Australian Guineas winner Ferlax was on track for better things this prep including the $350,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31.
“He was only beaten less than three lengths. I reckon it was a great one. It was perfect as he had a big blow-out,” Conlan said on Sunday.
2013 Aurie’s Star Handicap Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 7 – 10/08/2013
|1||7||BROKEN||Darren Weir||Luke Nolen||–||6||54kg||$10|
|2||2||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Craig Williams||0.4L||10||58kg||$5.50|
|3||10||CAVALLO NERO||Nick Harnett||Peter Mertens||0.5L||4||54kg||$21|
|4||5||PELICANO||Tony McEvoy||Nicholas Hall||1.25L||9||54.5kg||$21|
|5||4||RIZIZ||Ken Sweeney||Chris Symons||2L||3||55kg||$2.60F|
|6||1||LUCKYGRAY||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||2.1L||8||60kg||$6|
|7||3||FERLAX (NZ)||Jim Conlan||Stephen Baster||2.5L||2||56.5kg||$11|
|8||9||DRAW FORWARD||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||3.25L||5||54kg||$31|
|9||8||KEEP COOL (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||4.5L||7||54kg||$26|
|10||11||FALCENT (NZ)||Doug Harrison||Dwayne Dunn||5.75L||1||54kg||$12|
|–||6||ZAMORAR||David Bourne||Glen Boss||–||0||–||–|