Weir saddling up for a busy holiday racing period

Kerry Weir will have Cracker Dance racing at Wagga on Friday.

Kerry Weir is saddling up for one of his biggest-ever Holiday periods, with the Tumut trainer targeting three massive Southern Districts meetings in 11 days. 

Wagga’s Christmas meeting will kick off the holiday racing period on Friday, December 22, before Tumut hosts its time-honoured Boxing Day meeting on Tuesday, December 26. 

Then, rounding out proceedings is one of Weir’s favourite meetings, the Gundagai-Adelong Racing Club Adelong Cup meeting on New Year’s Day.

Weir, who has 21 gallopers in work, said he had plenty of options for all three meetings. 

“This is the biggest team I’ve ever had in work,” Weir said.

“I’ve got five in for Wagga on Friday and six in for Tumut on Boxing Day. We’ve had bigger on Boxing Day before, but not for a while. 

“Normally, I would only take two or three to Wagga, but I’m trying to separate them and give us the best chance of getting a winner.”

Heading to Wagga, the Tumut trainer has Agrimony (Kayla Nisbet, gate 9) entered for the feature on the program, the $36,000 Ted Ryder Cup (1600m). 

The stable also has Snicon (Jake Barrett, gate 1) and Finn’s The Icon (Quayde Krogh, gate 7) entered for the $50,000 1000m Super Maiden Plate, Geez Louise (Jack Martin, gate 10) in the $30,000 Country Boosted 1400m Maiden Plate, and Cracker Dance (Kayla Nisbet, gate 10) in the 2000m Benchmark 66 Handicap. 

“I’ve got a couple of nice horses in, and Finn’s The Icon would have to be my best chance; he’s got potential with a capital P,” Weir said. 

“He’s in that Super Maiden and hasn’t started since the Snake Gully Cup meeting, and he should have won that day. 

“He missed the start by six and flew home for second; it was a massive run.”

Cracker Dance is another good chance for the stable, with the five-year-old fourth-up and getting up to a more suitable distance. 
“She is taking a little bit longer to get fitter this time of year, but the 2000m will suit her to the ground, and she is ready for a big run,” Weir said. 

At Tumut on Boxing Day, Weir has six more nominated, with Horace and Red Hill entered in both the 1400m and 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicaps, She’s Apples One and Fuji Hero in the 1000m Maiden Plate and Lightening Blaze and Geez Louise in the 1400m Maiden Plate. 

“Lightening Blaze will go close,” Weir said. 

“He ran second at Albury in a stronger race the other day and will go well on his home track.”

Following Tumut, Weir’s attention will be at Gundagai, where he won the Adelong Cup with Cod Rock (2018) and Crocodile Cod (2022 &2023).

The stable has its sights set on a third consecutive win in the feature, while Weir is already thinking about the Tumbarumba Cup (January 27) and Tumut Cup (February 10).

“Red Hill is my Adelong Cup horse this year,” Weir said. 

“He hasn’t started since the Snake Gully Cup meeting, but he’ll go to Tumut on Boxing Day into the New Year’s Day Cup at Adelong, and then we’ll get him ready for the Tumbarumba and Tumut Cups.

“Agrimony is another one that will head to those races. His last run was horrible, but the one before that was a ripper; he’ll go around in the Ted Ryder Cup and then the New Year’s Day Cup.”

Weir, training since the 1990s, could surpass the 250-win milestone over the holidays. 

His first winner as a trainer was with Zaddy, who won a Maiden Handicap at Cowra in 1998. Since then, the popular trainer has been a stalwart of the Southern Districts, bringing up 247 wins, including 69 at Wagga, 63 at Tumut, and 40 at Gundagai. 

“I remember my first winner; I got booked for speeding going to the races,” Weir laughed. 

“My brother Doug owned the horse, and my other brother Ben rode the horse in trackwork, and we were going to Cowra, and I remember getting into Young and thinking we only had 45 minutes to get there, and well, we got pulled over.”

With 250 wins on the horizon, Weir wasn’t one to get caught up with statistics. 

“I don’t look at those things; we usually only have half a dozen or so in work, so it’s hard to win that many,” Weir said. 

“Plus, it’s harder to win a race these days, but we’ve got a lot of nice horses in work, and we’ll keep going.”

2024 could be a big year for the stable, and another nice horse in Laurel Hill, owned by Andy and Sue Groves, will target the $1 million Country Championships after finishing fifth in a 1400m Class Three Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick earlier this month.

“She won’t start for a bit and only just came back in,” Weir said. 

“She didn’t pull up well after Sydney, and got a bit of heat stress, and got the wobbles.

“She had a week out at Andy and Sue’s, and we’ll get her ready for the (Country) Championships.”