Land of Plenty pictured winning the 2018 Toorak Handicap under Damian Lane (Image: Racing Photos)
Land Of Plenty carries the tag of one of Darren Weir’s big movers this year but the champion trainer has warned the Toorak Handicap winner may struggle to kick-off 2019 with a win this Friday night at The Valley.
Weir had six of the 16 entries for the $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) on Monday and while his progressive horses Land Of Plenty and Fifty Stars again pleased the trainer with their workouts at Camperdown on Monday, Weir said he was wary they would struggle to beat stablemate Whispering Brook.
"She’s done really well and she galloped really good this morning,’’ Weir said of the West Australian mare.
"She’s had a couple of runs under her belt and he’s (Land Of Plenty) obviously first-up and will benefit from the run.
"I would say she will have the fitness edge on him."
But Weir expects Land Of Plenty can provide some decent returns to the stable this campaign.
Weir rates Land of Plenty his best chance of winning The All-Star Mile at Flemington on March 16 and has a number of Group 1 targets in mind for the improving horse.
"He’s going to kick-off on Friday night and he looks great in his trial this morning," Weir said.
"He spent a bit of time up at the farm and he’s been back at the beach for about two and a half weeks - he seems really well in himself.
"He’ll run Friday night and then head on to the 1400-metre Group 1s (C.F. Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes) and then hopefully into the big one (The All-Star Mile).
"It looks like he’s on track so far. The horse really looks well and he wasn’t asked to do a lot this morning.
"He was just his normal self. He laid-in a little bit but he strode to the line quite well so I’m looking forward to seeing him Friday night.
"He had six weeks there (on the farm). He’s such a big, heavy horse so it’s great to get him into shape."
Weir said the impressive Sea The Stars four-year-old Fifty Stars will also resume in the Australia Stakes on Friday night, but said the horse would be looking for further.
"I would think they would be a bit sharp for him, we hope to get him into some good races this preparation," Weir said.
"He’ll kick off on Friday night and then go to the two Group 1 1400-metre races (C.F. Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes) and then progress out in trip after that.
"It will be very interesting to see where he fits in," Weir added.
WATCH: Land of Plenty win the 2018 Toorak Handicap