Trainer Darren Weir’s love affair with the Magic Millions Raceday continued at the Gold Coast on Saturday when stable hero Stratum Star won the Moet & Chandon Magic Millions Trophy (2200m).
The win in the $1 million feature followed Stratum Star’s victory in last month’s Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) at Ascot, and added to Weir’s success in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (Mahuta) and the Magic Millions Cup (Lucky Hussler) in 2016.
While he held pre-race reservations about how the five-year-old entire would cope with carrying 61 kilograms and the step up to 2200m, these were quickly alleviated courtesy of a sublime ride from jockey Damian Lane.
“We got the ride to overcome both of those things (weight and distance) and I said to Damian (Lane) that if he could get off the fence at some stage it would be good,” Weir said.
“From the first corner the horse actually moved out a bit without Damien doing too much and he got into the right lane and switched off nicely down the back.
“When he got to the outside at the top of the straight I knew he’d tough it out because the boys down at Warrnambool do a great job and the horse is in great shape.”
A $165,000 purchase by retired trainer Rick Hore-Lacy at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Saturday’s win took Stratum Star’s career prizemoney earnings past $2.2 million.
Weir heaped praise on his Warrnambool-based team for the role they played in ensuring the son of Stratum held the necessary fitness to see out a strong 2200m, the longest race of his 34-start career.
“Since Perth, he’s done a lot of work to keep him up to the mark,” he said.
“He had two trials in one day and then another six days later which really held him in the right shape to be able to run the trip.
“It’s nice when you’ve got the horses to bring up here and I’ve been lucky enough to have the right horses be up here in the right shape and get the right rides to win because it doesn’t happen that often.”
Stratum Star had to survive a protest from the connections of runner-up Feltre. The Richard Laming-trained Payroll stayed on well to hold third place.