Darren Weir is confident Renew can make a successful return to flat racing after recording an impressive all-the-way win in the Galleywood Hurdle at Warrnambool.
Renew remains unbeaten in three jumps starts and Weir said the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) at Flemington on May 20 loomed as a target for the imported stayer.
Ridden by John Allen, Renew was sent out the $2.70 favourite in Wednesday’s race before scoring by nine lengths from Honey Steel’s Gold ($7) with Urban Explorer ($61) three-quarters of a length away third.
The victory brought up a winning treble for Allen after two flat winners earlier in the program.
Weir said jumps racing had prolonged the racing career of Renew who was having his 43rd start on Wednesday.
Renew began his career with Aidan O’Brien in Ireland before being transferred to Marco Botti in England.
He was sent to Australia as part of the international contingent in 2014, winning the 3200m Sandown Cup for Archie Alexander.
He was transferred to Weir last November, scoring a flat win at Morphettville in February.
“When he arrived in the stable I thought this was his future,” Weir said.
“He’d been a nice horse on the flat but needed to get rejuvenated and the jumping has done it for him.
“He’s a good advertisement for jumps racing because he wouldn’t be racing if it wasn’t for the jumps.
“He’ll go back and win on the flat now.”
Weir said Allen had Renew in a nice rhythm before cranking up the pressure with 800m to run.
He said there was a question mark over Renew’s ability on wet ground but a hurdle school at Warrnambool last week allayed those fears.
Weir said Renew would press on further into the jumps season as long as his form held, pointing to the Australian Hurdle at Sandown at the end of the month as a possible target.
“We may keep on going through to the Grand National if his form keeps on going,” Weir said.
Day two of the three-day carnival was marred by the death of Bring Back who was euthanised after fracturing a shoulder in a fall in the maiden hurdle.