Mikayla Weir continues winning run in Highways

Mikayla Weir has every reason to be smiling after her recent winning run in Highway Handicaps.

Mikayla Weir brought up the 14th metropolitan victory of her career and her third city win since mid-December when riding the Wayne Wilkes-trained Lensman to victory at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. 

Jumping aboard the 70/1 outsider for the Taree stable, anyone would have thought Weir was riding the short-priced favourite, sitting on Lensman midfield as the Dar Lunn-trained Elson Boy (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $91) led the field along. 

After turning for home, a gap appeared, and Weir took her chances, steering Lensman into open space before taking the lead and holding on to win by more than a length from a wall of horses, which included the Grant Jobson-trained Imatruestar (Dylan Gibbons, $13) in second and the Keith Dryden-trained Missile Leader (Tommy Berry, $5.50) in third. 

Weir, who’s been in great touch, said it was an oddly run event that didn’t play out as she expected as the pair powered to a decisive win.  

“The instructions were to stay one-off because he is such a big horse, and last time, he got held up and too far back, and well, he had no luck because his run was impeded,” Weir said.  

“On Saturday, we were one-off; he had momentum, and he kept building, but to be honest, when I straightened, the favourite on the outside of me was gone.

“I was very worried because it felt like I had a lap full of a horse, but I could see the horses in front of me, and they were 200/1 and 100/1, and I was concerned they were stopping and making me feel like I was going better than I was. 

“So, when I hit the front, I thought it may have been too soon and that they would all come from behind, but he got to the front and just kept going.”

Weir is a big believer in giving every horse its chance, and Lensman’s price was the furthest thing from her mind on Saturday.  

“It doesn’t matter what price they are; I give them my best and ride them like they are the horse to beat,” Weir said. 

“Horses don’t know what price they are, and I try and give them the best possible chance and ride to get the best possible result.” 

Leading into Saturday, Weir landed a double at Bathurst on Friday, riding the Jason Coyle-trained Just Wai to victory in the 1100m Maiden Plate before scoring a win on the John Steinmetz-trained Turnaround Time in the 1800m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

“They are two trainers that support me in the country and provincial areas, so it was nice to kick one home for each Jason and John,” Weir said. 

“I just thought it was a really good day in that sense, and it was good to go to Sydney on a bit of a roll.” 

Weir has been enjoying her trips to Sydney with the leading country hoop triumphing on the Mark Quinn-trained Bomarea at Royal Randwick in December before celebrating her 30th birthday with a win on the Brett Thompson-trained Smart and Dapper at Rosehill Gardens last month. 

“I’ve been a little bit hit and miss, and that happens, but recently, I’ve had a bit of luck in town,” she said.

“The biggest thing for me is to get my name out there, as it is getting harder in the country to go everywhere for a lot of rides.

“A lot more jockeys are travelling further, and to do what I’m doing, I need to keep my name out there, and getting winners in town does help me get recognised a bit more.

“Still, my main focus is being the best country jockey I can be, and if I can get the opportunity in Sydney or the provincials, I’ll take them with both hands.” 

Weir had Sunday off but is back to work on Monday with a book of six rides at Dubbo before taking four rides at the Newcastle country meeting on Tuesday.