High Church has given Darren Weir a fourth-straight win in the Warrnambool Cup, the feature flat race of the famous three-day carnival.
The win on Thursday followed victories by Akzar (2014), Tall Ship (2015) and Master Of Arts last year.
Ridden by Damian Lane, High Church was heavily supported to run the $2.40 favourite before scoring by six lengths from Observational ($5.50) with Unfurl ($10) 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Of the five feature races over the three days, Weir collected three winners with High Church’s win following the victories of Renew in the Galleywood Hurdle and Ulmann in the Wangoom Handicap.
Weir said High Church had been specifically set for the 2350m Listed race.
Now six-year-old, who came to Australia to race originally for Lloyd Williams after being trained in England by Roger Charlton, is likely to head to Queensland for the winter carnival.
“This was the goal,” Weir said.
“Maybe there’s some nice races up in Brisbane over the carnival, maybe not at the top end but maybe the Caloundra Cup and that sort of race might be suitable.”
High Church’s victory was his second since joining the Weir stable last year.
Weir praised the ride of Lane who worked out tactics with Darren Murphy before the race.
“The boys had a plan,” Weir said.
“Damian and Darren went out and walked the track.
“I had nothing to do with that and they said we need to get to the outside fence in the straight.”
Even though it was High Church’s first run on a heavy track, Weir said he was confident the conditions would not bother him.
“His action suggested he would appreciate a bit of give in the ground,” Weir said.
“When you work him on firm tracks he doesn’t work as well.”
Lane said he felt High Church had the race won a long way from home.
“Turning for home he was going half-pace and he let down really well through the ground and did it easily,” he said.