Weir runners shine at meeting in the ‘Bool

HOME STRETCH: Maiden plate winner Red Sensation, with jockey John Allen in the saddle, marches in front of Verraux. Picture: Vicky HughsonDARREN Weir is developing quite a reputation oftrainingimported gallopers and it was enhanced when another international horse won at Warrnambool on Thursday.

Plein Ciel, who was ridden by talented horseman John Allen,was well backed in the betting for Victoria’s leading trainer before he defeated Lady Annabel and Wilkin in a $20,000 maiden plate over 1300 metres.

The German-bred stallion has been handled with kid gloves since he arrived in Weir’s Warrnambool satellite stable six months ago after he had two starts in Germany, according to his foreman Jarrod McLean.

“We’ve had to be really patient with Plein Ciel,” McLean said.

“He was a typical import. He’s just needed time to get his action right and get him settled down to racing in Australia.

“He’s a quality horse I’ve got no doubt he will win better races.

“I reckon Weiry will just quietly take him through his classes.”

Allen said he was hoping to keep the ride on Plein Ciel in the future.

“The first time I rode him was in a track gallop in Warrnambool on Monday,” the Irish-born Allen said.

“He gave me a good feel in the gallop but a lot better in the race.

“He’s a big bull who will be improved once he gets over more ground.

“He drew the wide barrier and there was nothing to take me into the race.

“I just took him to the outside and he finished the race off strongly.

“He was just too good for that class. I’m sure you’ll see an even better horse over more ground.

“I want to keep the ride but that will be up to Weiry.”

Plein Ciel was the middle leg of a treble for Weir.

His other winners were Red Sensation and Lasayette.

Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams trained two winners on the eight-race program. Williams was successful with Alma’s Rose in a three-year-old maiden and Powerossa took out a benchmark 58.

Fellow Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell was the only other local to train a winner.

Purcell’s winner was Written Era which won a benchmark 70. Allen shared the riding honours for the meeting with Jack Hill. Both rode doubles.

Hill won on Alma’s Rose and Chiatorio. Plein Ciel and Red Sensation were Allen’s two winners.

Meanwhile, jockey Holly McKechnie was found guilty of a careless riding charge, following her ride on Rich Praise in a maiden over 1200 metres.

McKechnie was suspended from midnight Friday, November 18 to midnight Friday, November 25.

Stewards deemed the incident to be in the low range, took into account the racing manners of Drysdale Spirit.

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