Ballarat based trainer Darren Weir is giving it his all this Saturday in his local Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m), delivering a triple-pronged attack on the race.
Weir told RSN Radio that he would accept with all three of his nominated horses in the $200,000 race – Hurdy Gurdy Man, At First Sight, and Mobaco.
He believes seven-year-old horse Hurdy Gurdy Man is his best chance at winning the 2014 Ballarat Cup, after finishing third in last year’s race which he followed with back-to-back second placings in the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) and Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m).
However he will need to improve on his recent form, which has seen the horse finish end of the field in his last three starts, including the Jeep Country Cup (1600m) and Ararat Gold Cup (2000m). He made good ground late in the race at Ararat last time out and should enjoy the rise in distance at Ballarat.
“He’s sort of been aimed towards this race all preparation, he’s in the right order but I’d think he’d have to improve on what he’s done,” Weir said.
“He had a good, strong gallop yesterday over 2000 metres and worked well.
“He’s going to present in really good order but I would think he’d have to go a little better than he has been.”
Seven-year-old gelding At First Sight finished second in the Ararat Cup and will also enjoy a tilt in the 2014 Ballarat Cup. Weir said he was pleased with his progress going into the race but will need to improve on his run at Ararat, where he had ever chance to win.
“He’s going well; I must say though I thought he had every possible chance at Ararat and if he only brings that form to Ballarat he won’t be good enough,” Weir said.
“We’re just hoping he’s taken a bit of benefit from that run.”
With just four runs this preparation after close to three years on the sidelines, improvement seems very likely.
Weir’s third and final runner for Saturday’s feature is the OTI Racing-owned Mobaco, who has failed to impress in his three starts since arriving in Australia during the spring.
“He’s not going too well either; on form it doesn’t look like we have a strong team in the Ballarat Cup but they’re all in good order,” the trainer said.
“The track is in absolute great order, I’m really looking forward to Saturday and the place looks fantastic.”
The final field for the 2014 Ballarat Cup is due to released later on Wednesday.
If you think any of Darren Weir’s three runners are in with a chance to win the race, open your online betting account at Ladbrokes.com.au today to receive $100 worth of bonus bets.