Ballarat’s Darren Weir is excited to make a raid on the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s opening Group 1 race at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday saddling-up his consistent four-year-old Trust In A Gust in the BTC Cup 2015.
Set for the breeding barn at Victoria’s Swettenham Stud after this swansong campaign, Keep The Faith stallion Trust In A Gust handed Weir his maiden Melbourne Group 1 victory last year and is now a livewire chance to do the same in Queensland on Saturday.
Purchased for a modest $45,000 as a yearling at the 2012 Inglis Premier Sale, Trust In Gust has now won 10 of his 18 starts including a Group 1 double at Caulfield last spring for over $1.14 million in prize money.
The achievements of the soon-to-retire galloper have far exceeded anything Weir could have imagined, especially the horse’s winning Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) – Toorak Handicap (1600m) double last time in.
“I have just kept rolling the dice with this horse, and why wouldn’t I with the way he has been performing?” Weir told News Corp.
“I was hoping to pinch one big race with this horse in Melbourne and I ended up snaring two.
“I chased the VOBIS Gold money with him at the start of his career but he just kept raising the bar.”
First-up this autumn Trust In Gust returned to Caulfield and went down as the beaten odds-on favourite when a nose away second to Red Bomber in the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) on April 18.
While far from disgraced, Weir admitted the horse has improvement going into his second-up run this weekend, which he’ll need in the $500,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
“He ran okay first-up but probably got to the lead too early and he will have benefited a lot from the run,” he said.
“I haven’t had much of a look at the field for the BTC Cup but my horse certainly deserves his chance.”
Early betting markets on the weight-for-age classic at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Team Hawkes’ consistent sprinter Our Boy Malachi ($4.20) shooting for his 18th win at start number 20 and last start Group 2 Victory Stakes winning mare Srikandi ($5.50).
Turst In A Gust meanwhile is the last of the single-figure hopes in the pre-field BTC Cup odds at $6.50, a price Weir hopes he can live up to if not perform better than on the weekend.
The other BTC Cup-bound galloper shooting for three consecutive Group 1 wins is the Tony Pike-trained New Zealand raider Sacred Star ($13), the Flying Spur five-year-old having won the Telegraph Stakes – Nrm Sprint double during the summer.
The official BTC Cup 2015 final acceptances close on Wednesday, the field to be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
In the meantime get behind your early selections in the ante-post markets on offer at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 bonus sign-up bet offer for new depositing players that quote the code BETBONUS!