Darren Weir continued his extraordinary spring carnival when Tosen Stardom saluted in the group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes, 2000m, at Flemington on Saturday.
The Japanese import produced an explosive late surge to snare his second group 1 win of the spring and give his Ballarat trainer victory in one of the big four features of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Tosen Stardom also ensured Weir maintained his record of having a win on every major day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival – going back to Caulfield Guineas Day in mid-October, when Tosen Stardom saluted in the Toorak Handicap as part of group 1 double for the master trainer.
He has also been in the winners’ stall on Caulfield Cup Day, Cox Plate Day and now all four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
This is a feat he shares with the training combination of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, who kept their run going with Savapinski in the group 2 $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, 2000m.
Weir admits he was concerned Australian racing might never bring out the obvious potential in Tosen Stardom.
"I was worried we wouldn't see the best of him but we have today. That was the real Tosen Stardom," Weir said.
For Weir and his stable a lot of hard work has gone into resurrecting the career of Tosen Stardom, which was expected to figure prominently in last year's spring carnival.
The campaign was aborted after one run.
Weir had planned an Epsom Handicap assault, but after arriving in Sydney those plans were also cut short.
"We ran him at Moonee Valley and he ran great and put him on the float to go to Sydney and he cut his leg," Weir said.
"Everything that could go wrong with the horse went wrong.
"They were never serious problems, it wasn't a knee, a fetlock or a tendon or gone in the wind, they were niggling problems."
Weir said it was the consistency of getting races into the horse that was the key in Tosen Stardom returning to winning form.
"Racing him fortnight, fortnight, fortnight and being able to back-up after a softish run last week held him in great shape for today," he said.
Weir said Tosen Stardom would now go for a break, suggesting the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in the autumn would be a suitable race.