Darren Weir is excited about the way Tosen Stardom is going ahead his return in the CF Orr Stakes but Victoria’s premier trainer is less enthused about the Japanese import’s barrier draw for the Group One race.
Weir has three of the top four chances in early betting for Saturday’s weight-for-age Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, with dual Group One winner Tosen Stardom joined by stablemates Black Heart Bart and Brave Smash.
Weir said he had never had Tosen Stardom better at the same stage of a preparation which he said was a good sign for his campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how he goes. I reckon he’s in great shape,” Weir said.
But Weir admitted he was disappointed with the horse’s draw which he believes makes his task more difficult.
Defending champion Black Heart Bart, however, has barrier three where he can likely put himself in the right spot, while Weir said Tosen Stardom would likely have to settle back.
“Bart has drawn the good barrier so he’ll get a good run and Tosen Stardom, it’s going to make it hard now from 14,” Weir said.
“We’re going to have to ride him quiet I guess, so that will make it hard.”
Tosen Stardom is the $4.40 favourite ahead of Godolphin’s Hartnell at $5.50, with Black Heart Bart at $6.50 and Brave Smash $7.50.
“If Black Heart Bart just gets the good run, he’s a terribly hard horse to get past,” Weir said.
“But he is a year older than what he was last year when he won, and I reckon Tosen Stardom is going better.
“If you swap the barrier draw you’d be saying it’s going to be hard for Black Heart Bart and the other horse it would be good.
“Now it’s the other way around, then Black Heart Bart is probably a better chance than Tosen Stardom.”
Weir has taken blinkers off Brave Smash after his unplaced return in the Australia Stakes (1200m) last month and wants to see him finishing strongly this time.
“Brave Smash was disappointing first-up but he over-raced and got presented a bit early,” Weir said.
“Had those things not happened, I still don’t think he would have won but he would have run better.”