STEPPING UP TO THE BIG TIME
LORD Of Brazil finds himself in rarified air at Caulfield today.
The seven-year-old gets his first try in group 1 company in the $400,000 Toorak Handicap, 1600m.
Lord Of Brazil had an enormous campaign late last year under the guidance of Ballarat trainer Darren Weir, going from a benchmark78 win at Seymour to wins in the Gold Nugget in Ballarat, Mildura Cup and three city races.
He was also third in the group 3 Carlyon Cup and group 3 George Adams in Launceston.
Lord Of Brazil has had two starts this preparation, including a last-start third to Blackie at Moonee Valley on September 27.
Leading Ballarat-trained hopes at Caulfield today:
ANATINA (Robert Smerdon*): group 3 $150,000 Thoroughbred Club Stakes, 1200m
BROKEN (Darren Weir): group 2 $220,00 Schweppes Schillaci Stakes, 1000m
SHAMAL WIND (Robert Smerdon*): $135,000 Sportingbet Sprint Series Final, 1200m
BRITISH GENERAL (Dan O'Sullivan): listed $120,000 BMW Weekend Hussler Stakes, 1400m
BY THE WAY (Mark Lewis): listed $120,000 BMW Weekend Hussler Stakes, 1400m
VERDANT (Robert Smerdon*): group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes, 2400m
LINTON (John Sadler*): group 1 $400,000 David Jones Toorak Handicap, 1600m
LORD OF BRAZIL (Darren Weir): group 1 $400,000 David Jones Toorak Handicap, 1600m
LUCKYGRAY (Robert Smerdon*): group 1 $400,000 David Jones Toorak Handicap, 1600m
* satellite stable or secondary training base in Ballarat
GROUP 1 DREAM
DARREN Weir’s home state group 1 dream will also live on the $500,000 Thousand Guineas, 1600m, at Caulfield on Wednesday.
Weir has group 1 wins to his name, but not in Victoria.
May’s Dream will go around in the Thousand Guineas.
The three-year-old daughter of She’s Archie has two wins and two minor placings in four career starts, with her latest outing being a convincing win at Caulfield on September 29.
SHILLITO RETURNS TO BALLARAT
Mandy Shillito has returned to Ballarat to continue her training career.
She is back in her hometown after six years at St Leonard's on the Bellarine Peninsula.
Shillito said improved training facilities in Ballarat and the financial benefits of living at a property she owned rather renting led to the move.
She said the composition of her stable had also changed.
Shillito said the shift to St Leonard's had initially resulted in her attracting "old horses with injuries" owing to the proximity to the beach.
She said now half of her 14-strong team were youngsters which needed to be worked on the track, and travelling from St Leonard's to the Geelong racecourse had become time consuming.
As well as being just a few minutes from Dowling Forest Racecourse, Shillito said she was also constructing a 900m track.
BEST BET FROM BALLARAT
SHAMAL WIND (Robert Smerdon*): $135,000 Sportingbet Sprint Series Final, 1200m, at Caulfield
BALLARAT STABLE FIRST STARTERS
TENNESSEE SPIRIT (Robert Smerdon): R1 listed Inglis Debutant Stakes, 1000m, at Caulfield on Saturday, October 12
KEY FOCUS (Darren Weir): R1 maiden, 1200m, at Kilmore on Sunday, October 13
HONEST MAGIC (John Sadler*): R2 maiden, 1100m, at Kilmore on Sunday, October 13
BALLARAT STABLE WINNERS IN PAST WEEK
STEEL FORCE (trained by Darren Weir): maiden, 1300m, at Swan Hill on Monday, October 7
ANATINA (Robert Smerdon): listed Cap D'Antibes Stakes, 1000m, at Flemington on Saturday, October 5
PLATELET (Darren Weir): group 2 Gilgai Stakes, 1200m, at Flemington on Saturday, October 5
HURDY GURDY MAN (Darren Weir): Murtoa Cup, 2050m, at Murtoa on Saturday, October 5
FLYING HOSTESS (Darren Weir): fillies and mares benchmark Handicap, 1100m, at Murtoa on Saturday, October 5