Paperback, C Format
292pp with 2 x 8pp colour illustration sections
153 x 20 x 234 mm
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It’s been 100 years since we have had a trainer such as Darren Weir, the knockabout “boy from the bush”, who has taken Australian racing by storm.
That trainer was James Scobie, who trained his first of four Melbourne Cup winners from his Ballarat base. Scobie was the man of the moment in the early 1900s, but, eventually, even he was lured to abandon his bush camp to train at Flemington.
Weir, from the dot of a Mallee town Berriwillock, was like any other bush kid—he had a pony, which he rode in the shade of the town’s giant wheat silos. However, Weir, and others, discovered he had “the knack” with horses. He became a horse-breaker and farrier, and worked with some of the leading bush trainers before trying his hand at training.
Something clicked. Now Weir, who started with a handful of scrubbers, is training an elite team of nearly 250 horses from his two bases at Ballarat and Warrnambool. Some of the clients on his books are the rich and famous of world of racing, although Weir’s loyalty remains with the many country people who have backed him from the start.
Like Scobie, Weir trained his first Melbourne Cup winner from his bush base when $101 long shot Prince Of Penzance, ridden by Michelle Payne, won the Cup in 2015.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author, well-known journalist and commentator Bruce Clarke has captured the essence of the knockabout horseman in this enthralling and entertaining authorised biography of the man they call Weiry.
Clarke delves into what makes Weir tick—his humble beginnings, his progression through the ranks of Victoria’s trainers, his unique and controversial training methods and uncovers the system and network that allows Weir to plot the careers of so many outstanding horses in a military-like fashion.
Weir might be a modern-day James Scobie, but unlike Scobie, he has no intention of following a path to the big city.