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 Australian Racing News 
Saturday, March 18 2017

Darren Weir ticked off his second milestone for the day when Palentino gave the trainer his 100th victory in Melbourne for the season by winning today's Blamey Stakes at Flemington.

Earlier in the day Weir won his first Sydney race when Big Duke got the verdict on protest in the Gr. 3 Manion Cup at Rosehill, but the trainer had an easier watch in the Gr. 2 Blamey Stakes.

Weir prepared 104 Melbourne winners last season but with four months of the 2016-17 term remaining, is set to shatter the local record of 115 wins set by Lee Freedman in the 2005-06 season.

A stable accident forced Weir to scratch top performer Black Heart Bart from today's $200,000 race but had the favourite Tosen Stardom, who firmed from $1.85 to $1.65 in betting, in the race along with Palentino and Real Love.

A dual Group One winner, Palentino eased from $4 to $5.50 but was the dominant runner in the Blamey Stakes, strolling to an easy win over Tosen Stardom.

Weir said improved racing manners allowed the chestnut entire to return to his best over the Flemington 1600-metre course, the scene of three wins from four starts.

"He got the right spot, he got behind the right horse and they went at the right tempo, but he's his own worst enemy at times," Weir said.

"It's great to see him back to his best again today. He won by a large margin but that was more the fact that he did everything right."

Victoria-based breeders Sun Stud bought into Palentino as a stallion prospect during his three-year-old season. Weir said the four-year-old could head to stud next season with nothing left to prove.

"From my point of view, the horse doesn't have to do anything else," Weir said. "He has done his job and he's a great horse with a nice pedigree and he's certainly going to make into a good stallion."

Palentino's win capped a feature Flemington double for Mark Zahra, who also claimed the Gr. 3 TBV Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes on Shoals for the Lee and Anthony Freedman stable.

Posted by: AAP AT 03:36 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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