The benefits of Darren Weir’s beach training set-up can be best exemplified by Howard Be Thy Name.
The three-year-old has been prepared at the leading trainer’s Warrnambool base for Saturday’s South Australian Derby at Morphettville since his second placing in the Tasmanian version in February.
Howard Be Thy Name was suffering stringhalt before the Tasmanian Derby, a condition that means a horse flexes a hind leg up near the stomach before quickly placing it back on the ground.
He has overcome the complaint since being transferred to Warrnambool.
“We took him to the beach after Tassie and swam him and waded him in the water for three weeks and the stringhalt came good,” Weir said.
“Sometimes things just fix themselves and since he’s been down the beach he’s won three times from as many runs.”
The last two of Howard Be Thy Name’s wins were in Adelaide in two of the traditional Derby lead-ups.
He gave jumps jockey John Allen his first black-type flat win in the Port Adelaide Guineas before Brad Rawiller rode him in the Chairman’s Stakes at Morphettville on April 30.
Allen regains the ride on Saturday with Rawiller going to Brisbane to partner Stratum Star and Real Love for Weir.
Howard Be Thy Name has drawn barrier six and has been well supported to be the $5 Derby second favourite behind the Mick Kent-trained $3.40 Charlevoix.
Weir said Howard Be Thy Name had benefited from trips to and from Adelaide and was in perfect order ahead of Saturday’s race.
“This will be his third trip to Adelaide and the previous trips have been good for him and really tucked him up,” Weir said.
The trainer has scratched Rageese from Saturday’s Adelaide Guineas with the colt to head to Queensland to try to cement a position in the Stradbroke Handicap via the Fred best Classic a week later.