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 Australian Racing News 
Saturday, May 27 2017

A record-equalling Sandown treble for leading trainer Darren Weir has been soured by a $3,000 fine from Racing Victoria stewards.

Two of Weir's three runners in yesterday's final event were presented in the mounting yard wearing the wrong saddlecloths.

Noela's Choice and Stylish Miss, numbers eight and 12 respectively, entered the mounting yard wearing each other's saddlecloths. The mistake was picked up by the starters who were checking the brands before jockeys were mounted.

As Weir had already eft the course, his representative Darren Murphy took full responsibility for the mistake. "I apologise on behalf of myself and the staff," he told stewards.

In a telephone hook-up during the inquiry, Weir told stewards the only defence was that both horses, chestnut mares with white faces, looked the same. Acting chief steward Rob Montgomery said the starters had averted a disaster.

"If the starters didn't pick it up checking the brands the situation would have been a 'don't come Monday' mistake," he said.

Cannyescent won the 1400-metre benchmark race, with Data Point second and Thelburg third. Stylish Miss finished eighth under Jye McNeil, with Noela's Choice last for Dean Yendall.

Earlier on the Sandown programme, Plein Ciel's win in the Ladbrokes Handicap took Weir's Melbourne metropolitan tally for the season to 115, equalling the record set in the 2005-06 season by Lee Freedman.

Weir had earlier success with Cliff's Edge in the Clanbrooke Racing Handicap and Renew in the Australian Hurdle.

Plein Ciel may now head to Brisbane for some of the later carnival Cup races. Ridden by apprentice Ben Allen, Plein Ciel was sent out the $2.10 favourite and won by a length and three-quarters from Petrology, with Coldstone a half-neck away third.

Weir said the Ipswich and Caloundra Cups could be suitable races for the German-bred galloper.

"A trip away will do the horse the world of good but I'd say he'll have another run here before he goes," Weir said. "He's a big track horse and the Sunshine Coast would suit him but the trip at Ipswich might suit him better.

"His pedigree suggests he will like a trip but I'm thinking 2000 metres at the moment. I certainly hope he does get out further but we'll get him to 2000 and then work it out from there."

Weir praised his team at Warrnambool for their work with Plein Ciel. He said the four-year-old takes a bit of managing because he is a big, heavy horse on little legs "but he's nice and sound and has a bright future".

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