While Darren Weir went on a lap of honour from Ballarat to Berriwillock following the Melbourne Cup, another one of his Group 1 stars returned from a spell without any fanfare.
Trust In A Gust gave Weir his first Victorian Group 1 during the 2014 Caulfield Cup carnival but injuries have restricted him to just two starts this year.
He’s already been signed to stand at Swettenham Stud and Weir is working towards winning a third Group 1 before the five year-old returns home to join the Nagambie roster in 2016.
“Darren is taking him along slowly down on the beach at Warrnambool,” syndicate manager David Speechley said this week.
“It’s early days and there are no plans as to when or where he will return to racing.
“Long-term, we would love to have another crack at the Group 1 Stradbroke Hcp. We were all set to take him up this year until he was injured while being loaded on a flight to Brisbane.”
Trust In A Gust (5h Keep The Faith – Subtle Breeze by Storm Cat) recovered at Gerry Ryan’s Limerick Lane property in Nagambie after surgery to remove a bone chip from his stifle.
“The vets said it was a straightforward operation,” Speechley explained. “We’re hoping he can come back and reproduce his best form at the autumn and winter carnivals.”
Weir placed Trust In A Gust to perfection as a three year-old winning 6 of his 10 starts to be named 2014 Super VOBIS Horse of the Year. He returned as a spring four year-old and graduated to Group 1 victories in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Toorak Hcp (1600m).
Trust In A Gust was initially booked to stand at stud this year, however, Swettenham owner Adam Sangster and Speechley decided to keep him racing for another season.
The Ballarat based owner and Weir continued their successful run when Dalradian (Reward For Effort) won the RL Inglis Banner (1000m) on Cox Plate day at Moonee Valley.
Speechley also bought a Helmet filly for $110,000 from Swettenham’s draft at this year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. She’s from a half-sister to NZ stakes winner Royal Babe (Rory’s Jester) and has been named Heluva Diva.
And what about Weir? He’s having a Heluva ride this season and Trust In A Gust remains a stable favourite even though he shares digs with the winner of a Melbourne Cup.
“Trust In A Gust has so much ability and, when you raise the bar, he goes with it,” Weir claimed “He’s a magnificent specimen and is the perfect horse to train.”