Au Revoir forms part of Weir double

Darren Weir has added another two wins to his season tally at Flemington but concedes Lee Freedman’s metropolitan record in Victoria is safe.

Wins to stayer Au Revoir and Royal Rapture on Saturday took Weir to 105 metropolitan wins in Melbourne for the season, and moved him past David Hayes’ 103 wins in 2006-07 and Peter Moody’s 103.5 in 2010-11.

Only Lee Freedman has trained more city winners in Victoria in a season, with 115 in 2005-06.

“He’s pretty safe there,” Weir said of Freedman’s record, given only two city meetings remain.

“But it’s been a great year for the stable and all the connections.”

Earlier in July, Weir broke John Hawkes’ commonwealth training record for most wins in a season, which stood at 334.

Saturday’s winners took Weir’s tally Australia-wide to 341.

French import Au Revoir returned to winning form for the first time since the 2014 Zipping Classic, when he was trained by Andre Fabre.

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Au Revoir spent more than a year off the scene after an autumn campaign with Peter Moody in 2015, and Saturday’s Bitalli Handicap (2500m) was his fourth start for Weir.

The six-year-old had been unplaced in his three runs back over shorter distances, but with added fitness, blinkers back on and a change in tactics, Au Revoir ($13) led the field and held on to beat stablemate Black Tomahawk ($3.40) in a photo finish.

Au Revoir’s preparation included two barrier trials over 1000m at Burrumbeet, a few hours apart, on Monday.

“His form didn’t read that well coming into today but they’re very unsuitable races,” Weir said.

“He’s finally starting to get a bit fit and the gear change helped.

“Obviously the two trials at Burrumbeet on Monday had him in the right sort of order today.”

Weir said he has often given stayers two trials, and he did so again on Monday with Au Revoir and Backbone – which came fourth in the Bitalli Handicap – while Black Tomahawk worked over 2000m.

Apprentice Michael Dee trailed on Royal Rapture in the Flemington Event Staff Handicap (1600m) before sprinting past favourite Jerilderie Letter in the straight to beat him by a length.

Volcanic Ash was another length back at third.

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