Fanatic fights off Ormito in the Adelaide Cup. Picture: Sarah Reed
Fanatic fights off Ormito in the Adelaide Cup. Picture: Sarah Reed

Weir’s Adelaide Cup pain continues

CHAMPION trainer Darren Weir must be wishing the rival Lindsay Park stable had taken a brief March holiday.

After finishing second to Lindsay Park horses in a pair of Group 1 races at Flemington on Saturday, Weir has again been denied a feature-race crown by a galloper trained by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, his German import Ormito just failing to peg back Fanatic in the $400,000 Adelaide Cup at Morphettville.

To add salt to the wound, Weir's other Cup runner, $21 hope Poppiholla, ran a huge race for third.

On Saturday, Weir's Brave Smash was beaten a lip by Hayes import Redkirk Warrior in the $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap then Gailo Chop was upset by Lindsay Park longshot Harlem in the $1.5 million Australian Cup.

South Australia's premier staying test remains one of the few feature races to elude the all-conquering Weir camp.

He's now had placegetters in the past four Cups, including a couple of highly fancied runners.

Master Of Arts ran third as favourite last year, Real Love filled the same placing as the $2.35 popular elect in 2016 and Taiyoo, a $6 chance, finished second in 2015.

Now Ormito and Poppiholla have added to that story of near-misses.

Despite the frustrating run of outs, the Victorian horseman remained philosophical after the race and praised the ride of Ormito's jockey, Craig Williams.

Winning team: trainer Ben Hayes and jockey Michael Walker after their Cup success. Picture Sarah Reed
Winning team: trainer Ben Hayes and jockey Michael Walker after their Cup success. Picture Sarah Reed

"I'm happy with the way Craig rode the horse. He rode him beautifully," a clearly disappointed Weir said.

"He presented him ... you ride for luck. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. Unfortunately we weren't good enough on the day.

"They both went great, though."

Williams conceded Michael Walker's ride on Fanatic proved the difference.

"Because of where we were ... I came to the outside but unfortunately the winner got the run up the inside and it was able to save two lengths there," the jockey said.

Tale of two journeys: Michael Walker celebrates his rail-hugging ride for victory while Craig Williams can only lament his decision to play percentages. Picture: Sarah Reed
Tale of two journeys: Michael Walker celebrates his rail-hugging ride for victory while Craig Williams can only lament his decision to play percentages. Picture: Sarah Reed

"The winner got the dream run and that's what it's come down to in the end.

"He was brave, determined. The stable's done a great job to get him to run so solidly at two miles.

"Whatever he does now, you know next preparation you're going to have a lot of fun with him.

"He's ticked that box to be sustainable at the two miles now."


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