In recent times, Weary has been a rarity in Chris Waller’s stable, and not in a good way.
But the French import has overcome many of his problems with the help of a new friend and has shown the benefits with a last-stride win the Group Two Expressway Stakes.
Waller enlisted the help of a pony he renamed Dunlop to try to get Weary to adapt to the routine of the others in Sydney’s biggest and most successful stable.
On Saturday at Rosehill, Weary ($7) came along the inside rail to nab Driefontein ($5.50) and win by a short head with Territory ($14) another length third just in front of favourite Panzer Division ($4.40).
An autumn campaign last year that produced a Group Three win and Group One placings in the Doncaster Mile and All Aged Stakes encouraged Waller to believe Weary was a genuine Cox Plate horse.
But he was a shadow of his autumn self and his preparation was aborted after three lacklustre starts.
“He is a horse who has given me a few headaches,” Waller said.
“After the spring we brought in a pony as a companion for him.
“Sometimes he just wouldn’t gallop but he has settled down now with the pony and works properly.
“I’ve never had a horse like him. He is one in a thousand.”
Weary was one of five Waller-trained horses in the Expressway (1200m) with Bagman, Beaten Up, Boban and Hawkspur filling places seven to 10 with six lengths covering the 11-horse field.
“I think it’s likely they will all run next in the Apollo Stakes,” Waller said.
“I’ll weigh them all up.”
Weary was ridden by Tommy Berry who, like his late twin brother Nathan, has had a long association with owner Geoff and Mary Grimish.
Berry was also aboard when Weary formed part of Waller’s historic first four in the 2014 Doncaster headed by Sacred Falls.
“He was going to run fourth or fifth and in the last 50 metres he found another gear,” Berry said.
“Mr Waller has found the key to him this preparation. He ran really well in a barrier trial and brought it to the races.”
Blake Shinn, who rode Driefontein, said he thought the Gai Waterhouse-trained mare had the race in her keeping.
“She got softened up in the middle stages which told in the last 50 metres,” he said.