Darren Weir is one win away from emulating a rare feat he achieved across Melbourne’s three major city spring carnivals a year ago.
Weir had at least one victory at each of the Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Flemington carnivals’ eight race meetings in 2017.
He will do the same if one of his 16 acceptors salutes at Flemington on Saturday – the last day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Veteran sprinter Thermal Current kept Weir’s run going when he scored his first win since February last year in the listed $150,000 Absolut Stakes, 1000m, at Flemington on Thursday.
Weir went into the meeting most likely to get another win in the group 1 $1m Victoria Oaks, in which he saddled up the top two fancies.
However, he came up empty in the three-year-old fillies’ classic, with Aristia ($5.50) winning for Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra. Race favourite Amphitrite failed to beat a runner home for Weir.
Miner’s Miss ($101) produced one of the runs of the day to finish a closing third for Ballarat veteran trainer Paddy Payne.
Ridden by his daughter and Melbourne Cup-winning daughter Michelle Payne, Miner’s Miss went into the Oaks off a maiden win at Avoca – Payne senior’s first win in nine years after retiring from training.
Weir had 13 wins a cross the three carnivals last year: Caulfield (2 meetings) 6, including four on Caulfield Cup Day; Moonee Valley (2) 3; and Flemington (4) 4.
This season his record stands at three on Caulfield Guineas Day; one of Caulfield Cup Day; three on Manikato Stakes Night at Moonee Valley; one on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley; and on each at Victoria Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day and Victoria Oaks Day at Flemington.