Darren Weir is hoping a Warrnambool run on Thursday can turn into a Hobart Cup 2015 bid next February for his progressive stayer Tooleybuc Kid.
The five-year-old Denon gelding has finished out of the money only four times from his 18 career starts but has managed to rack up just the four wins, including two wins from his opening 15 runs since debuting at Hamilton in November of 2012.
After a number of close calls during his late autumn – early winter preparation, he hit his peak when stepped up from a mile and enjoyed back-to-back Caulfield wins over 2000m.
Firstly he got the better of St Jean, who went on to win multiple stakes races, by one and a half lengths in a BenchMark 78 on April 21.
The second of those wins was then in the William Buck Plate, a most impressive victory as he defeated subsequent Emirates Stakes sixth placegetter Escado by three and a half lengths in a race that Ballarat Cup winner Mujadale ran four lengths away third in.
His latest effort then saw him go down as the $1.90 odds-on favourite at Flemington on May 24 when fourth behind Zuma Rock in a 2000m heat of the Banjo Paterson Series to end his prep.
The Wangoom-based Weir with pleased with the late prep form of Tooleybuc Kid, who is yet to be tested in black type company, and is also happy with how he’s come back this time in.
“I’m rapt with the way he’s going,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“He took a while to hit his straps but by the end of his last preparation he was in really good form and he’s in good order this time.”
His fresh form will be put to the test on Thursday in the $40,000 Port Fairy IGA Cup (1400m) where he will carry 58.5kg with Michelle Payne in the saddle for the first time since January.
All going well, Weir is looking at stepping Tooleybuc Kid up in class this summer with a possible shot in the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) in Tasmania on February 9 on the horizon.
“I thought he wasn’t quite good enough for the Spring but we are hoping he can measure up to a Hobart Cup (2200m) campaign,” Weir said.
Weir also saddles-up his Seymour Cup runner-up Our Hand Of Faith in Thursday’s race with apprentice Ben Thompson to use his three kilo claim.
Drawn in gate eight the Testa Rossa six-year-old was last seen running fifth to Zuma Rock at Ballarat on November 22 over the mile, the drop back in distance to suit this weekend.
“I reckon he’s been disappointing in his last two starts, I’m not sure what’s going on with him but we’re hoping that he can bounce back,” Weir said.
“I’d say he would probably be the pick of my two horses because he’s well and has the fitness edge.”
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