Victorian trainer Darren Weir is hoping a win at Flemington on Saturday will lead to a trip down to Tasmania next month for Tooleybuc Kid who is earmarked for the 2015 Hobart Cup this summer.
This weekend in Melbourne on Chester Manifold Stakes Day the Denon five-year-old will be put to the test in the $80,000 Piping Lane Handicap (2000m), the gelding up over 2000m for the first time since May last year during Flemington’s Banjo Paterson Heat Series.
Before that fourth place finish to Zuma Roc, during which he lost a plate, Tooleybuc Kid showed his staying ability with back-to-back 2000m wins at Caulfield including a three and a half-length victory in the William Buck Plate beating Escado.
First-up off a six and a half month spell in early December he ran a close fifth when beaten just over a length in the Port Fairy IGA Cup (1400m) after missing the kick at Warrnambool.
He returned there on December 28 then for the Woodford Cup (1700m) but was seventh, finishing off quickly, but beaten over four lengths when slow away from the barriers once again.
On Saturday he pays $8.50 to win the Piping Lane Handicap through Ladbrokes.com.au in a wide open market where only three of the 10 hopefuls are over single-figures to win.
Weir hopes he can improve third-up and win to earn his trip south for the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 9 during the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
“He’s coming along well but he’ll take benefit again from the run over 2000 metres,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“He’s only third-up and his fitness is still improving but hopefully he can run well.”
Weir is also represented in Saturday’s race by the favourite Taiyoo in gate three for Brad Rawiller who retains the ride.
Sitting top of the markets at $4, the Haradasun gelding won back-to-back races in December before a last start fourth behind Extra Zero over the 2000m at Flemington, and Weir rates both his hopes pretty equal chances.
“Brad should have gone forward on Taiyoo last start and sat outside the leader instead of sitting three-deep and I’m sure he’d have run better,” Weir said.
“They’re both fit and well and should be somewhere around the mark. I’d maybe lean to Taiyoo with the fitness edge but there isn’t much between them.”
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