DARREN Weir has signalled a possible tilt at his hometown cup with Gold Nugget Handicap winner Lord of Brazil.
The six-year-old gelding provided the Ballarat trainer with his first win in the $60,000 event when he beat the Bill and Symon Wilde-prepared Lord Wimble and Peter Moody’s Vatuvei at Dowling Forest Racecourse yesterday.
Jockey Luke Currie took the winning ride in the absence of the previously-booked Michelle Payne, who remains sidelined after a fall at Ararat on Friday.
“It’s great to win the second biggest race at your home track,” Weir said.
“If he can run 2000m he might progress into maybe a Ballarat Cup horse.”
Weir had four runners in yesterday’s 1600m feature, with grey import Puissance De Lune finishing an eye-catching fifth, Emblem Of Liberty 10th and Leica Ding – first-up since April 2010 – second last in the field of 13.
A large contingent of connections were on track to celebrate Lord of Brazil’s win, which takes his record to seven victories from 17 starts.
Following a five-week freshen-up in mid-June, the son of Lord of Warriors won at Seymour, ran second to the talented Tokugawa at Moonee Valley before securing a narrow win in the Mildura Cup.
The Gold Nugget success was the first of two winners for Weir, who also trained King Buddy to victory in the final race of the day, a showcase benchmark 72 handicap over 1200m.
Meanwhile, jockey Mark Zahra rode a winning double yesterday.
Zahra saluted on the John P Thompson-trained Transonic and Robert Smerdon first-starter Tacs Return.