Darren Weir started planning his celebrations well before the finish of the Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield.
But when his filly Platelet reached the line in front, the trainer had more to cheer about than he’d anticipated.
Platelet, one of three runners Weir saddled in the 1100m Listed sprint, got home by a half head from her stablemate Royal Bender, with the third of his entrants, and the best-fancied, Rue Maple, dropping out to finish near the tail.
“After the first 300 metres every horse was in the spot I wanted them,” Weir said.
“On the turn I couldn’t have asked for more, and at the finish it was even better.
Already a Group Three winner, Platelet further enhanced her value with a game victory that seemed likely to go to Royal Bender all the way down the running.
“If she is anything she is tough,” Weir said.
“She can handle all kinds of tracks and she’s brave and she’s got above average ability.
“It’s hard to ask for more.”
Platelet was the first leg of a winning double for jockey Damian Lane who landed the next winner, Slim Henry, in the Mallalieu Hcp (1400m).
But in the bigger numbers game, Weir is a clear winner again.
Platelet gave him his 24th win in town for the season, making 2011-12 his best in Melbourne by far.
The broader picture has also been a bright one for Weir this year, his 170 winners on all tracks making him Australia’s third most successful trainer, ahead of such giants of racing as Gai Waterhouse and Chris Waller.
“We’ve got a great team,” said the Ballarat-based Weir.
“The system we’ve got in place has come together really well, it’s all going right.”
The Monash also featured two distinct betting moves, both of which were justified by the result.
Opening favourite Second Effort drifted alarmingly and ran accordingly, finishing sixth, although he lost a shoe while third placegetter Zamorar came in for heavy support and flashed home to take the minor money.
Weir said Platelet’s next target would be the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in two weeks.