Posted by: jkirkby8712 | August 1, 2017

Weir completes magical season in style.

Those of you who know the  writer personally,  will be aware of his enthusiasm for, amongst other things, all things sport, particularly at the international level  where Australia is involved.  He also has a strong interest in the horses [thoroughbred racing style], so while this article may be limited in its appeal to many of his readers, no apologies are offered, it is simply included nevertheless as a matter of general interest for those who can be bothered reading it.

Darren Weir was the trainer of the 2015 Melbourne Cup winner ‘Prince of Penzance’ though most of the fame for that event went to the jockey, Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. Unfortunately, while Michelle’s fame as a winning jockey has somewhat dwindled over recent times, that of Weir has literally soared, and the following article, taken from today’s edition of the ‘Ballarat Courier’ explains the reason for that statement. I follow it up with the precise statistics of Weir’s year.

‘Darren Weir says it might be impossible to better his stunning 2016/17 racing season , which ended with 449 winners across the nation. The official racing season came to a close on Monday with the Weir stable completing the campaign with another winning treble at Mildura. Weir prepared Pharja, Bonus D’Oro and Crafty Devil to claim victory at the season-ending meeting. Harry Coffey rode all three of those horses to victory.  The 449 winners across Australia sets a new National and Commonwealth mark by a single trainer, surpassing his own record of 347 from season 2015-16.  Weir told the Courier on Monday, before the Mildura meeting had started, that it was an ‘unbelievable’ season and felt the number of winners would be difficult to surpass. “I would have thought it would be hard, but it’s not about beating it, it’s about winning the good races”, Weir said.  The ‘good races’ no doubt include those at Group 1 level.

In 2016/17 Weir won eight contests at the elite level, including six in Victoria, one in South Australia and one in Western Australia. His most successful track was Moonee Valley, where he was triumphant on 37 occasions. Not far behind was his home circuit of Ballarat, where he produced a total of 31 winners.

Dean Yendall was the Weir stable’s most successful jockey with more than 100 wins while Burning Front proved the most winningest of the horses, crossing the line first in seven races. Black Heart Bart was the highest earner for the yard, with his four wins netting $1,466,000. The former WA galloper took out the Memsie Stakes, Underwood Stakes, C.F. Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes, all at  group 1 level.

Weir said his success was a result of a lot of good work from people behind the scenes who don’t get much recognition.

To highlight Weir’s dominance this season, the Ballarat horseman finished 170 winners clear of the David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig training partnership. New South Wales trainers Chris Waller, John O’Shea and Kris Lees rounded out the nation’s top five.  Weir has won a host of state-based titles, including the highly sought-after metropolitan crown. At the final metro meeting of the season on Saturday, Weir managed a double despite just four races being completed before the day was abandoned due to strong winds [he also picked up two winners at Adelaide the same day].  Throughout the last twelve months, Weir has had more than 2,600 starters and won more than $24 million in prizemoney’.

[from the ‘Ballarat Courier’ by Tim O’Connor, Tuesday, 1 August 2017]

The factual statistics:  Weir entered 2,687 runners during 2016/17.  He had 449 winners, 355 second place-getters, and 323 3rd place-getters.  That is one winner in every 6 starts, or in percentage terms, a Win ratio of 16.7%, and a Place ratio of 41.9%..  He gets underway  today for the first Victorian meeting  of the new year [2017/18] with 8 starters at Warrnambool.




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