Leading trainer Darren Weir concedes he may have been too easy on Voodoo Lad before his close second in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final.
Weir has given him plenty of work and believes the sprinter will be much fitter this time when he returns to Flemington for Saturday’s Bruce Gadsden Handicap (1200m) as the shortest-priced favourite on the nine-race card.
Voodoo Lad started $1.95 in the Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final on July 9 and loomed up in his first try on the 1200m straight course only to be run down by Ruetigger.
“He was just a bit big in condition I think,” Weir said.
“So hopefully he’s not this time.
“He’s a lot fitter and we’ve kept him up to the mark.”
Voodoo Lad has not missed a place from 12 starts with six wins, five seconds and a third.
He started his career with Rod Northam in NSW and has had two wins and two seconds in Victoria since making his debut for Weir in May.
Weir will also saddle up Magnus Reign who finished sixth in the Sprint Final.
“He ran poorly last start so hopefully he improves,” Weir said.
Victoria’s premier trainer has prepared 103 metropolitan winners so far this season, one of only four trainers to have reached the century.
While Lee Freedman’s mark of 115 wins in 2005/06 appears out of reach with only three city meetings remaining, Weir is poised to surpass David Hayes’ mark of 103 in 2006/07 and Peter Moody’s 103.5 in 2010/11.
Weir has runners in seven races at Flemington including Kenjorwood who is the $2.30 favourite for the Henry Bolte Handicap (1800m) from barrier one in a field of six.
“I reckon he’s going great,” Weir said.
“He didn’t have a lot of luck last start. He drew a bit sticky (in barrier 14) and got caught a bit wide but hung on well.”