Trainer Darren Weir at Flemington.
Trainer Darren Weir at Flemington. JULIAN SMITH

Trainer closing in on record-breaking century

DARREN Weir isn't the type to pore over figures, which is lucky because he might get dizzy at the number of winners he has trained this season.

Not surprisingly Weir was unaware that he is on the verge of training 100 city winners for the season, setting a record in the process.

Weir enters this weekend having trained 96 city winners.

He has 12 runners at Flemington on Saturday and will have a big representation at Moonee Valley on Monday. He is poised to break Lee Freedman's record for the quickest 100 city winners in a season, set on April 25, 2006.

Weir also looks certain to smash Freedman's record haul for a season, of 115 in 2005-06. Last season Weir achieved his first century of winners in the last month of the season - on July 9.

TAB fixed odds has even put up a market on whether he will train 150 city winners - he is $1.80 to achieve that feat.

"I haven't really kept an eye on it," Weir said. "To be honest, it's snuck up on me. I didn't know it was that many."

One premiership ladder Weir has monitored is for Group 1 races. His stable is the leader with six victories, two in front of Chris Waller.

Weir is hoping to increase his lead on Saturday at Flemington, where he has two runners - Stratum Star and Humidor - in the Australian Cup, and will saddle up Voodoo Lad in the Newmarket Handicap.

Group 1 races are a new frontier for Weir and this season he has boosted his career tally to 19.

"That's where I want to improve," he said. "That's the pinnacle for a trainer.

"If I can't land another one for the season, I'd still be happy as it would mean I've trained one every two months, which I'd take."

Weir said Humidor was the most talented of his Australian Cup pair.

At their last starts in the Peter Young Stakes, Stratum Star defeated Humidor by a head.

Weir said Humidor must lift in two areas.

"He would want to parade a bit better and race a bit truer," he said. "He'll run a great race and if he can put it all together he can win.

"I haven't changed his gear. I'm hoping with racing he'll continue to improve."

Weir said, in contrast, Stratum Star did everything right in his races.

"He's tough, sound and loves racing," he said. "But I set him for Ascot, the Gold Coast and Caulfield last start and he's won them all, but I haven't set him for this."

Weir did have three runners engaged in the Australian Cup but wasn't happy with former Perth mare Real Love and withdrew her on Friday.

Humidor is $4 equal favourite with Jameka, and Stratum Star is $6 with TAB.

Weir will attempt to win the Newmarket Handicap first-up with Voodoo Lad but said the sprinter faced a tough task.

He almost won last year's race with Black Heart Bart first-up, but he was beaten in a photo by The Quarterback.

"He's a good horse, but he's no Black Heart Bart," Weir said of Voodoo Lad.

News Corp Australia

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