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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Monday, March 06 2017

Champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir will break new ground this weekend.

He will have his first New Zealand runner when Lord Van Percy steps out in the Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The former English galloper is scheduled to fly out of Melbourne on Thursday and Vinnie Colgan has been booked to ride the stayer.

Weir, who spreads his forces over country and metropolitan tracks, has won 272 races this season, almost a 100 more than any other Australian trainer.

Lord Van Percy, who is at $21 with the New Zealand TAB for the Cup finished fourth in the listed Torney Cup at Moonee Valley at his last start. He had been fourth over 2400m at Caulfield at his previous attempt and ran second over 2500m at Flemington in December.

The Sir Percy gelding, who is part-owned by OTI Racing, won five races in England when trained by Andrew Balding, including 2800m wins at Newmarket and Goodwood. He was also runner-up in the Ebor Handicap, one of England's most competitive handicaps.

"There are not many two mile races around and Lord Van Percy's owners have been keen for the horse to come to Ellerslie," Weir's racing manager, Jeremy Rogers, said.

"We are very happy with his condition. He was okay last start start and we are pretty confident he will manage the distance. He's a strong stayer."

Meanwhile, the former Otaki galloper Humidor heads Weir's Gr.1 Australian Cup challenge on Saturday.

"He's been getting better and better each start and stepping up to 2000m at Flemington should really suit him," Rogers said. "He still does a few things wrong but should be hard to beat."

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 08:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email