HOWZAT: Horsham jockey Dean Yendall celebrates his first Warrnambool Cup win. Picture: Rob GunstoneDARREN Weir’s stranglehold on the Warrnambool Cup continues.
The Ballarat trainer scored his third straight Warrnambool Cup –his fourth overall –with Horsham hoop Dean Yendall riding home winner Master of Arts.
The triumph was the Melbourne Cup-winning trainer’s eighth of the three-day carnival and 251st Victorianwinner of the season.
“It’s been a great year. You have to pinch yourself a bit,” Weir said.
Master of Arts ($8) won by 1.25 lengths from Warrnambool-trained duoVilanova ($31) and Swacadelic ($5.50), which was a further 2.75 lengths back in third.
Weir’s triumph in the 2350-metre flat race backed up his successes with True Courser (2005), Akzar (2014) and Tall Ship (2015).
Master of Arts travelled midfield in the run and came wide on the corner.
The four-year-old stallion levelled with stablemate Master Zephyr, which eventually finished fourth,at the 300m mark before pulling away with 200m to run.
“We got the right ride from Dean –it was a terrific ride,” Weir said.
“They had paths where they were hoping to get to and Dean got to the pathwe wanted to and got the job done.”
Weir said he was thrilled to win for Master of Arts’ connections –Waratah Thoroughbreds’ Paul and Angela Fudge.
“They have beautifully bred horses and have a beautiful place up there in Sydney with all the right facilities, so Paul and Angela deserve all they get,” he said.
Weir, who has satellite stables in Warrnambool,said his personal-best eight carnival winnerswas a satisfying achievement for his large, hard-working team.
“There would have been a few angry punters out there with the amount of runners I had if a few of them didn’t win,” he said.
“When you have plenty of runners, you have plenty more chances. Still, at this carnival it’s very hard to win.
“As you could see today, the Warrnambool boys have their horses right and they’re hard to beat.”
Warrnambool trainer Simon Ryan came within 1.25 lengths of emulating his brother Pat’s feat of winning the cup, saddling uprunner-up Vilanova.
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