Victoria’s premiership-leading trainer and jockey combined with a French import to claim the Listed Winter Cup at Rosehill and delay Chris Waller’s next milestone.
Gallic Chieftain justified his pre-race favouritism by comfortably scoring the 2400 metre endurance test on Saturday, to indicate a productive spring looms in his adopted home.
The four-year-old who joined Darren Weir’s Warrnambool operation last year pulled clear with ease under Darren Yendall to claim the Winter Cup by three-quarters of a length.
Waller, who sits on 199 winners in NSW this season, had Montauk ($5) finish a gallant second while veteran stayer Destiny’s Kiss ($8) placed third, 1-1/2 lengths further back.
“It’s a good result and we look forward to the spring with him” said Weir’s stable foreman Jarrod McLean, who was coy about what plan was mapped out come November in Melbourne.
“No doubt (owners) Oti (Racing) have probably got a good race in November picked out for him.
“We’ve got a long way to go between now and then but obviously we aim high and see how far he gets.
“He’s certainly well-credentialed, he’s a sound horse and we look forward to the future with him.”
Weir took over training the horse from Francois Rohaut in August and he has now won twice in both Australian preparations.
“You can see an improvement, he’s certainly better this prep than last, he’s on the right track,” McLean said.
Yendall was always confident of victory after track work, and especially after he drew Gallic Chieftain ($2.15) off the rail once they jumped from barrier one.
“Barrier one was going to be an issue but I had the right run of the race and I asked him to release the brakes into the straight,” Yendall said.
“I galloped him on Wednesday and he galloped up really nicely. If he could show the way he worked that day he would have brained them.
“He still does a little bit wrong.”