Apr 20

Darren Weir, Chris Waller and Peter Moody have eyes on Melbourne Cup prize

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There is no questioning the ability of trainers Darren Weir, Chris Waller and Peter Moody. They have led the nation in winners for the past couple of years but they will be looking for a first Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday.

They have had 860 winners among them in the past 15 months. It doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the biggest race of the year where they have more than a quarter of the field.

The three horsemen with country backgrounds are yet to bank a Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup, but all believe it will eventually come. Weir is probably the best hope of breaking his duck, despite only having the one runner, Signoff.

“It would be great, massive, unbelievable to win it,” Weir said. “We need to start winning better races, I’m aware of that. We were lucky enough to get a couple of group 1s. This is the next step. We are happy with the way everything has gone with Signoff. We had a plan to win the Lexus and it worked. Whether he is good enough to win the Cup I don’t know.”

Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody has Lidari and Brambles but he put the pressure of winning a major in clear focus. “I have two runners in a race at 50-1 and you would usually think, well, that’s good, but we lived in hope it’s the Melbourne Cup. They are both happy and healthy. It is something you desire but I wouldn’t give my experience with the mare [Black Caviar] to win a major. You have to take what you can get. Let’s face it, there have been trainers who have won Golden Slippers, Caulfield Cups, Cox Plates and Melbourne Cups that couldn’t train a choko vine over a shithouse.”  

Waller will have Auckland Cup winner Who Shot Thebarman with Junoob and Opinion making up the team. He has already won seven group 1s this season and spoke of the expectation when it comes to the majors, in particular the Melbourne Cup, at the Call Of The Card on Monday. He pointed to Gai Waterhouse’s success last year.

“She has done it all and I’ve got to try to do it all,” Waller said. “We’re always under constant pressure. The pressure has certainly helped Gai to perform to where she is now. You’ve got to take the good with the bad and the pressure is to perform and produce these big race winners. That’s the next journey.”

Waller marked Junoob as the best of his trio, even though there has been strong support for Who Shot Thebarman in the past days. “We probably can’t win the race [this year], but we’ll try. Junoob is probably our best chance and he should have run in the first three in the Caulfield Cup, but he didn’t have the luck,” Waller said. “They are the days you remember, but still the majors elude us in the Golden Slipper, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. One day it will come.”

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