Weir’s Winter Wonder

Darren Weir and his training team have put on a miracle-worker like performance in preparing Magnifique Soleil ($5 fav) to win the $150,000 Listed TROA/Luxbet Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington.

“He has come back from his third tendon injury now including two stem cell treatments”, said Weir after the five-year-old gelding won the $150,000 winter racing highlight.

“It’s not only a great effort by him but also my staff at Warrnambool who have got him right again.”

While many horses careers are ended with just a hint of any tendon related issues, the Weir team have persevered and collected the rewards.

“We had this race in mind if he stood up and he ran terrifically first up” Weir recalled of the gelding's third placing at Flemington over 1200-metres on 8 June after a 12-month break.

“We weren’t too sure why he ran below par last start (16th at Flemington on 22 June) but it was a good tough win today.”

The son of Desert Sun notched its ninth victory in 21 starts.

Starting from barrier 11, that presented its own issues for rider Ben Melham.

“When he was caught three deep I was happy to sit off them with cover and get a trail into the race”, said Melham who is ending a stellar 2012/13 season which has included three Group 1 wins.

“When he was challenged he really picked up to go on and win.”

The very narrow victory was achieved after the eight-year-old Another Prelate (Craig Robertson/Quinton Scott) took the lead into the Flemington straight before fading into third placing.

When asked by Melham, Magnifique Soleil responded and got home by a nose on the line ahead of the fast finishing Clanga’s Glory (Jack Hill/Andrew Payne).

Courtesy of Danny Matthews of

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