Darren Weir waited years to train his first Melbourne Group One winner but horse-on-the-rise Trust In A Gust has given him his second in the space of a fortnight in the Toorak Handicap.
Trust In A Gust backed up his narrow Rupert Clarke Stakes win – Weir’s first Group One in Melbourne – with another big-race success in Saturday’s Toorak (1600m) at Caulfield.
The four-year-old was sent out the $4.60 favourite and stalked the leader Solicit before powering to the front at the top of the straight.
He had enough in the tank to hold off the finish of Speediness ($19) to win by three quarters of a length with one of the outsiders in Desert Jeuney ($61) another half-neck away third.
“He’s a great race horse,” Weir, Melbourne’s reigning premier trainer, said.
“He makes his own luck. He puts himself in the race and then is really tough to the line.
“He’s just a pleasure to train.”
Weir admitted Trust In A Gust had probably exceeded expectations this spring with his Group One triumphs.
“We brought him in aiming at the spring but we didn’t know where we were going to end up. It’s been a great ride for everyone,” Weir said.
Damian Lane rode Trust In A Gust to victory in the Rupert Clarke at 52kg which was below Brad Rawiller’s weight range, but Rawiller was back aboard on Saturday with Trust In A Gust carrying 56.5kg and labelled the win an outstanding effort from the horse.
Trust In A Gust became the fourth horse in the past 30 years to win the Rupert Clarke-Toorak double with Barely A Moment the most recent in 2005.
“He had to do it both ends,” Rawiller said.
International runner Guest Of Honour settled well back in the field before finishing ninth.
The Colin Scott-trained Speediness was fourth in last year’s Toorak and his wait for a Group One goes on with Saturday’s performance the gelding’s third placing at the top level in the past year.