Weir looking for kickstart into spring
DARREN Weir isn't predicting a day of domination at Caulfield on Saturday, just one that will provide a springboard into spring's feature races.
"I'm not sure how I'll go in terms of winners, but it's more of a kick-off day for my runners for races down the track," Weir said on Friday. "I'm looking for encouraging signs for the future."
Weir has six of the 16 runners in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
Cox Plate aspirants Humidor and Danon Liberty and Cups contenders Big Duke, Red Cardinal and Kings Will Dream are starting their spring campaigns.
Stable stalwart Black Heart Bart will be second-up, and Weir says he'll need the run.
"He's drawn well and he'll get a great spot stalking the speed and he'll run well, but he'll be at his peak next start (Memsie Stakes)," Weir said.
Black Heart Bart is a $8 chance along with Danon Liberty. Kings Will Dream is $14, Humidor is $19, Red Cardinal is $541 and Big Duke is $91 with Ladbrokes.
"The rest of the team are a long way from being wound up," Weir said. "They look great, and it's about getting the miles into their legs for the future."
Kings Will Dream is a $8.50 Caulfield Cup favourite, but Weir said Saturday was easily his toughest test.
"There's a lot of hype about him but he hasn't faced horses like this before at weight-for-age," he said. "I'm looking for him to be strong at the finish."
Former Japanese galloper Danon Liberty is making his Australian debut.
"He's a really nice horse," Weir said. "There are similarities with Tosen Stardom and I'll head to the Cox Plate and the Emirates Stakes with him. He'll really benefit from this run.
"He gallops with my better horses and what he does suggests he's a high-class horse."
Weir is setting Humidor for the Cox Plate, after he finished second to Winx last year.
"He's in great shape. He seems to be working straighter but whether that holds up in his races we'll see," he said.
Resuming stayers Big Duke and former German galloper Red Cardinal are being set for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, but Weir said they were a long way off peak fitness.