South Western Times - - Front Page - Mitchell Wood­cock

SOUTH West jockey Damian Lane has been de­scribed as “the next big thing in Mel­bourne rac­ing” by cham­pion trainer Dar­ren Weir.

Weir and Lane have a strong re­la­tion­ship and Lane will ride Aus­tralian Cup win­ner Hu­mi­dor for Weir in Satur­day’s $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield Race­course.

The For­est Lodge head trainer said Lane would win Mel­bourne pre­mier­ships and some of the big­gest races on of­fer.

He is the num­ber one ranked Vic­to­rian jockey this sea­son.

Lane has rid­den the five-year-old Hu­mi­dor in ev­ery race since Weir be­gan train­ing the geld­ing, claim­ing wins in March’s $1.5m TAB Aus­tralian Cup (2000m) at Flem­ing­ton and the $750,000 PFD Food Ser­vices Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) back in Septem­ber.

Hu­mi­dor came back into work less than two weeks ago and fin­ished more than seven lengths be­hind cham­pion mare Winx in the $500,000 Seppelt Turn­bull Stakes (2000m).

“Damian has put a lot of work into him,” Weir said.

“They click well. Damian knows him well.”

Weir said Hu­mi­dor’s en­tire prepa­ra­tion was to get him ready for the Caulfield Cup where he was a se­ri­ous con­tender.

“Apart from his last run – which I was still happy with – the horse is in great shape,” he said.

“It was not about the mar­gin that he fin­ished be­hind, it was about his an­tics. We are happy and I would not swap him from any other horse in the race.”

Weir said a solid run in the Caulfield Cup would set Hu­mi­dor and Lane on the path to the $3m Group 1 Lad­brokes Cox Plate (2040m) and the 2017 $6.2m Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup (3200m).

“He would have to run ex­tremely well in the Caulfield Cup to push on from there,” he said.

“The Cox Plate is prob­a­bly go­ing to be un­likely (for a win), but I think the mile and a half at Caulfield and the two mile at Flem­ing­ton will suit him down to the ground.”

Lane is com­ing off one of the most suc­cess­ful week­ends of his ca­reer, rid­ing Tosen Stardom to vic­tory in the $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) and tak­ing Ke­men­tari to sec­ond in the $2m Lad­brokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

The 23-year-old has rid­den eight Group 1 win­ners in his short ca­reer and Caulfield is one of his favourite tracks, win­ning 38 races from 284 starts at 13 per cent.

Lane is sched­uled to have nine rides on Satur­day, in­clud­ing four for Weir.

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