Praecereus’ win at Benalla

Praecereus recorded his first win this preparation with a strong finishing effort over 1606m at Benalla on Sunday.

Sent out a strong each-way chance on the third line of betting, promising apprentice Beau Mertens positioned Praecereus in behind the leaders on a genuine tempo.  Allowed plenty of space with no horses crowding him for room, Mertens was able to have Praecereus in a lovely rhythm and poised to pounce when the leaders invariably tired.  Taking the lead as the field straightened for home, Praecereus was able to hold off the fast-finishing favourite, Vantaggio, to record a confidence boosting win.

Praecereus, as a full-brother to our QLD-Derby winner Brambles, has always shown ability.  He has recorded a win in each of his last three race preparations and, as a maturing four-year-old, appears now to have the strength required to finish off his races and fulfil that early potential.  Brambles was a daring front-runner and it would not surprise to see a fully-furnished Praecereus attempt those tactics at some point in the future.

Full credit must go to Beau Mertens, who rode Praecereus to perfection on Sunday.  This win brought up a winning treble on the Benalla card, following on from a city double at Flemington the day before.  He is establishing a strong record with the Darren Weir stable and looks set to have a long career in the saddle ahead of him.

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Renew Ready To Fire

Marco Botti originally trained Renew, a son of the Champion Sire  – Dansili, in Newmarket, UK. When the horse wasn’t performing on the softer surfaces in the UK, it was decided the best way forward was to bring him over to Australia and give the horse every chance to be competitive.

On arrival, he had a start for Marco out of the Werribee Quarantine centre before he was transferred to Archie Alexander’s Ballarat stable.  Archie did a fantastic job with the horse.  Listed as the 4th emergency for the 2014 Group 1 Caulfield Cup, Renew somewhat surprisingly gained a start.  Outclassed, he ran quite well, beaten only 6.8l at odds of 200-1.  The horse had improved immensely from his first Australian run and he continued to improve for Alexander – resulting in a good 2nd placing at Flemington on Cup Day before winning the 2014 Listed Sandown Cup over 2400m.  The horse had finally started to show his true potential.

After then placing 3rd in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup over 3200m in the 2015 autumn, he then again lost his form.  After a disappointing spring/summer preparation in the 2015/16, he was given a long spell to let him ‘think about things’ and he was given one last chance under Darren Weir’s care.

Whilst most horses thrive with routine, perhaps Renew thrives under new and different environments to spark his competiveness. This Saturday he heads to Flemington in a BM90 over 2500m (click here to view the field), which will be his 4th race start under Weir’s training.  He has progressively improved off each run this preparation, his last start resulting in a 5th at Sandown over 2400m, where he made up good ground the last 200m to hit the line strongly, click here to watch a replay.

Being a large framed horse who carries good condition, he takes some time getting to full-race fitness. In his final piece of strong work on Tuesday, he pleased his rider and the stable, hitting the line strongly.

The Weir camp believe this boy is now reaching his optimal distance and should put in a good performance on Saturday.

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Imported Fastnets Ready to Shine

In recent times, we have imported two of our 4yo European bred and raced Fastnet Rock’s. Fastnet Latina was trained in America by Christophe Clement and has had 3 race starts. His best performance was a strong 3rd at Gulfstream Park.  Unfortunately, he suffered a minor tendon injury and was brought out to Australia to receive tendon rehabilitation under Lee Evison’s care.



The horse has progressed well and is now in full training with Archie Alexander at Ballarat and is set to trial in January.  This morning Fastnet Latina has his first trial for Archie (see replay of this mornings trial below), the colt pulled away on the turn and when challenged by stable mate, Our Bazaar, he fought back, hitting the line strongly. This was a solid performance and he looks ready for an Australian race debut.


Late in 2016, we also imported Fastnet Thunder, a lightly raced and promising colt previously trained by John Hammond in Chantilly, France.  He won his last 2 starts (from 5 starts) before we decided to bring this young stallion to Australia. He has now ventured up to Sydney where he will be trained by James Cummings. He will trial at Randwick in February.


Fastnet Thunder 21 June 2016


If you would like further information on either of these horses, please don’t hesitate to give the office a call on 03 9670 0255.


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