Imported stayer Weary has scored his maiden win in Australia with an impressive performance in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
Weary made his Australian racing debut with a third place finish behind Ecuador in a benchmark 95 handicap at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 and performed strongly behind Messene in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at the same venue a fortnight ago before stamping himself as a Group 1 contender with his Doncaster Prelude win.
The Astronomer Royal gelding receives ballot exempt entry into the 2014 Doncaster Mile (1600m) after today’s victory, but trainer Chris Waller said that the four-year-old is no certainty to back-up in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick next Saturday.
“We will give him a fair hearing, but it is too quick in my opinion,” Waller said.
“He is still not quite there yet and not switched on enough.
“A Doncaster is a big step, so we will try and make a decision on Monday afternoon for Tuesday mornings pay up.
“It is a good problem to have.”
Weary jumped from the gates well in the Doncaster Prelude and was positioned just behind the speed by jockey Hugh Bowman.
Team Hawkes-trained Leebaz started the race as favourite and kicked clear from the rest of the field coming around the final turn, but Weary was too strong in the final stages of the race.
Bowman was happy with the performance of the imported galloper and believes he is a genuine winning chance, if Waller elects to include him in the final acceptances for the Doncaster Mile.
“I rode him first-up and I was very taken with him,” Bowman said after the race.
“He didn’t have my weight last start and he was an eye-catcher and came here today a bit more focused.
“He jumped and put himself on the pace, something which he hasn’t been doing, and I presume that he will go to the Doncaster now and he is a fair-dinkum chance.”
Weary is owned by the Grimish family, who were great supporters of Nathan Berry during his riding career and Bowman believes their colours saluting was a fitting way to end an emotional day of racing.
“It has been emotional for everybody,” Bowman said.
“I would like to give praise to everyone and all the participants, in particular the jockeys, because we have come here and everybody has been very focused about their jobs.
“My thoughts and prayers are really with Whitney, Tommy and their respective families.
“It is a difficult time and we all much move forward.
“He was very close to them (the Grimish family) and it is an emotional time for everyone.”
2014 Doncaster Prelude Results
|1||3||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||6||56.5kg||$3.20EF|
|2||16||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||0.8L||4||55kg||$3.20EF|
|3||9||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||2.8L||7||55kg||$71|
|4||1||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Brenton Avdulla||4.4L||11||58kg||$12|
|5||7||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Damian Browne||5.4L||13||55.5kg||$14|
|6||13||KAYPERS||Greg Bennett||Glyn Schofield||6.1L||16||55kg||$19|
|7||12||PRINCE OF CAPERS||Tony McEvoy||Ms Kathy O’Hara||7.7L||9||55kg||$71|
|8||10||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||7.8L||2||55kg||$16|
|9||14||THE GREAT SNOWMAN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||8.5L||8||55kg||$31|
|10||11||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||9.6L||15||55kg||$61|
|11||17||DESERT WIZARD (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Chad Schofield||10.6L||10||55kg||$61|
|12||5||DIAMETRIC (IRE)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||10.9L||1||56kg||$21|
|13||8||WAZN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||11.4L||17||55.5kg||$101|
|14||15||ALMIGHTY CHARGE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||12.2L||3||55kg||$31|
|15||4||CENTENNIAL PARK (NZ)||David Payne||Christian Reith||13.2L||12||56kg||$81|
|16||6||LUCKY CHAPPY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||18.4L||14||56kg||$21|
|17||2||STRAWBERRY BOY||Peter G Moody||Nash Rawiller||20.4L||5||57kg||$8|