“There’s been a lot of interest” in the on-course Warrnambool stables previously run by Darren Weir, according to the Warrnambool Racing Club.
Weir copped a four-year disqualification last week after he failed to contest charges of possessing jiggers and of conduct prejudicial to the image of racing.
Club CEO Peter Downs said he was surprised with how much interest the main facility, which contains 43 stables and was owned by Weir’s Forest Lodge Racing, had generated.
“We’d like to think the stables could be opened sooner than later as we’re mindful of keeping people in jobs.
He added that Racing Victoria stewards have the final say as to which trainer goes into the complex.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace took over Weir’s Miners Rest complex last Thursday.
’Pal poised for breakthrough
Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman is confident Magnapal is ready to win another race following his third placing in last Saturday’s $125,000 Big Screen Company Handicap (1800m) at Caulfield.
At his 65th start, Magnapal finished a length from winner Yogi.
“It was a super run,” Bowman said. “I think the bit of rain we had really helped his chances.
“He’s had two runs from a break and is ready to win if he gets conditions to suit.
“I’m thinking of setting him for the Warrnambool Cup but that will be dictated by the weather.
“It would be great if we got a soft track.”
Magnapal has $574,105 in earnings. The last of his nine wins was in April last year at Caulfield, six runs ago.
In other stable news, Bowman came home from the Classic yearling sales in Sydney with a Star Witness colt out of Charge at Dawn.
“I thought he was a lovely walking colt,” he said. “I’d inspected a lot of yearlings since last Thursday and I thought this bloke was one of the best. His full brother has trialled up very well.
“I’ve got a couple of loyal stable clients who’ll take a share but there are still some shares available in him.”
Nest not at best
Popular Koroit galloper Hornets’ Nest is on target for another jumps campaign despite a poor flat run at Colac last Sunday.
Hornets’ Nest finished 18 lengths from the winner, Semari in a benchmark 70 company over 1600 metres.
Trainer James McNamara said Hornets’ Nest was back to his old unruly ways.
“He just never put in,” McNamara said, adding that the horse’s preparation had not been ideal.
“I hadn’t been able to work Hornets’ Nest until two weeks ago. I usually do all the work on him but I was kicked by a horse and I had a badly bruised left shin so I couldn’t put much work into him. He got away from me.
“I think we’ll run him again on the flat in a fortnight at The Valley, where there’s a bit of give in the track.”
McNamara is unsure when his stable favourite will resume his jumping career, with the weather playing a key role.
Like many trainers, he is hoping for early autumn rain.