Darren Weir is eyeing a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign for his in-form stallion Sooboog who broke a year-long winning drought with success in the 2016 Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington over the weekend.
The four-year-old son of Snitzel notably added to his eventual value at stud taking out the $150,000 Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) on Saturday in his first win since September last year.
Jumping favourite plenty of times over the past 12 months, Sooboog has been a frustrating for his owners and the punters alike.
He was finally back in the winner’s stall for the Aurie’s Star however after a gun ride from apprentice Michael Dee who guided the $5.50 second favourite to a smart one and three-quarter length victory in the sprint showdown after a charging final 300m sprint.
“Obviously the punters have got him in the gun a little bit but I reckon the horse has been running well,” Weir told Racing Victoria post-win on Saturday.
“He just needed things to go his way – he got the right conditions, he began well, he raced properly for once.
“When he gets in a rhythm he’s got a great turn of foot – he’s a really good galloper.
“We knew one day when things fell in place he would do something like that, so hopefully he can continue on now.”
The David and Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained duo of Dibayani ($9.50) and Tashbeeh ($7) finished second and third respectively to round out the Aurie’s Star Handicap trifecta ahead of the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained beaten favourite Ruettiger ($4) who crossed 2.7 lengths away from the winner in fourth.
The Aurie’s Star Handicap result gave Sooboog his first Black-Type win, his closest call in Group company prior to that being his second in Adelaide’s Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) back in May.
In total the young horse, raced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, has won three of his 15 starts for $269,875 in prize money.
Weir admitted that after the stakes win Sooboog would make a nice stallion prospect, but first confirmed plans to target more success over a spring campaign.
“He’s a Group 3 winner now, which is important because he’s still an (entire),” he said.
“It’s great for the owners.
“We’ll try and target something in the spring with him.”
Weir said the key to re-finding form with Sooboog was a trip to Ballarat, but said he would return to Warrnambool before his eventual retirement to stud.
“We had him in the water down at Warrnambool and two weeks ago we decided to shift him back to our place at Ballarat,” the Melbourne Cup winning horseman said.
“We were able to do a bit of schooling with him and some strong gallops which he very much relished.
“In time, he will go back to Warrnambool, but he’s a beautiful horse to train and I just noticed him after the race he was trotting back in such terrific order.
“There’s still value in him, he’s a stallion with a good future.”
Sooboog’s Aurie’s Star Handicap success was part of a stellar day at the track for the prolific Weir who prepared a total of five winners at the meeting.
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2016 Aurie’s Star Handicap Results
Flemington Race 7 – 06/08/2016
|1||13||SOOBOOG||Darren Weir||Michael Dee (a)||–||9||54kg||$5.50|
|2||1||DIBAYANI (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||1.75L||5||59kg||$9.50|
|3||5||TASHBEEH||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Michael Walker||1.95L||10||54kg||$7|
|4||9||RUETTIGER (NZ)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Daniel Moor||2.7L||7||54kg||$4F|
|5||4||MIGHTY LIKE||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||3.2L||11||55kg||$6|
|6||12||JUST MAGICAL||Lyn Tolson & Leonie Proctor||Ben Allen (a)||4.7L||2||54kg||$26|
|7||10||MAGNUS REIGN||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||5.95L||3||54kg||$9|
|8||2||SMART VOLATILITY||John Sargent||Mr Tye Angland||6.7L||1||58.5kg||$7.50|
|9||3||ESCADO||Matt Laurie||Ben Melham||7.95L||6||57kg||$151|
|10||8||PHEIDON||Jim Cerchi (Jnr)||Ben E Thompson (a)||8.15L||8||54kg||$101|
|11||7||MR CHARD||Tony McEvoy||Dwayne Dunn||14.15L||4||54kg||$31|
|–||11||BEIRUT||Henry Dwyer||Chris Symons||–||0||–||–|
|–||6||MANAGERESS||Cindy Alderson||Luke Currie||–||0||–||–|