Humidor completes a five-star day for Weir with Group 1 victory
Darren Weir topped a memorable day at Caulfield when his most potent weight-for-age challenger Humidor found his best form to win the $1million New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes on Saturday.
Weir went into the first Group 1 of the Melbourne spring with three outside chances on the back of training four of the first six winners at Caulfield, but Humidor sprang a surprise to win his third Group 1 race.
"He's a great horse," Weir enthused of his fifth winner for the day. "I said to Damien when I bunked him on to be strong late and he was strong late."
Damian Lane guided Humidor to a thrilling last-bound short head victory over the luckless Godolphin horse Kementari with a half head to another Weir galloper Kings Will Dream in third place.
Favourite Vega Magic looked set for victory after he sprinted clear of Dollar For Dollar on the home turn but he didn't quite produce the sprint he did a month ago when a dominant winner of the Bletchingly Stakes and wound up out of the placings in fourth.
"He ran well but I just think that rain before the race just took away his kick a little bit but he still ran well," jockey Damien Oliver reported.
Weir said he wasn't surprised with Humidor's performance as he's seen a change in the horse since last spring when he pushed the champion Winx to win her third Cox Plate.
"I thought he'd made the right progression," Weir said of the horse from his first-up fourth in the Lawrence Stakes.
"John's (Allen) our main gallop rider and he galloped him on Tuesday and he said he was right on track."
Weir said Humidor threatened to be a more effective racehorse this campaign.
"I think the key to Humidor is, he's doing things better," Weir said.
"Last year he was putting his head on his side and made it difficult but his two runs this time in he's done everything right and obviously you need to in these sort of races.
"He's still got his quirky things at home and in the mounting yard but he's racing a lot better.
"He's nothing to look at. When you look at those horses walking around there, he's a little pony of a thing walking around but geez he's a good racehorse."
There are a wealth of options in front of Humidor this spring including a shot at the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington and even a trip to Hong Kong for the international races in December. But of course, there is the Cox Plate and Weir said the horse was likely to go there again despite his lack of confidence.
"He had the absolute perfect run in the Cox Plate last year and couldn't beat her so I don't think he'll be able to beat her this year."
While Humidor has given Weir plenty to look forward to, he can also see a big race in store for third-placed Kings Will Dream, who is on the path to the Caulfield Cup.
"He was great," Weir said. "Ran through the line really well and it looks like Black Heart Bart (sixth) ran really well also."
James Cummings was experiencing a painful moment of déjà-vu when Kementari was nosed out by Humidor in a manic drive to the line.
"He was three-wide in the Caulfield Guineas and just got beaten by one (Mighty Boss) underneath him and he was three-wide here and we got the same result," Cummings lamented.
"But the horse went terrific. He just didn't have the luck you need to win Group 1s. But I think the horse is flying and he's done his reputation no harm.
"Humidor is a very good horse. That is what you get at Group 1 level weight-for-age."