Weir sets Articus for Tassie Cups double
RACING: Articus will be on trial for a Tasmanian assignment when the import tackles the Byron Moore Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on Monday.
The former German stayer concedes weight to each of seven rivals but trainer Darren Weir believes the gelding is primed to return to the winner's list.
"He's going well. He ran well in the Werribee Cup and he's in good shape," Weir said.
"He might go to Tassie for the Hobart and Launceston Cups if he wins."
Articus finished second to Aeratus in the Werribee Cup (2000m) on December 17, closing powerfully late to be narrowly beaten.
Weir has enjoyed plenty of success in the Hobart Cup, winning it four times in eight years. And he claimed the Launceston Cup last February with Big Duke.
Weir will on Monday launch a two-pronged assault on the Bagot Handicap (2800m) with Ormito and Parthesia.
A last-start second at Moonee Valley, Ormito will attempt to turn the tables on Terry O'Sullivan's Dandy Gent.
"He's good. He's come on again since his last run," Weir said.
"The step up in trip should be a plus. He'll probably benefit from the Moonee Valley run."
Weir will also start Tasmanian Oaks winner and VRC St Leger runner-up Parthesia in the Bagot.
"She's going well, I reckon," Weir said. "She didn't get the run we wanted at Penshurst (fourth in the Cup) because the idea there was to make sure she was strong late.
"But she was just held up and she needed the run because she's just so big in condition.
"She's in great order, she should run well."
Weir will chase successive wins with Last Week in the Summer Racing Handicap (2000m).
An impressive last-start winner at Moonee Valley, the lightly-raced gelding remains at Benchmark 70 level.
"He's going nice, he's a chance in an even race," Weir said.