Weir unlocks Humidor
IF Casterton track-watchers last week had dismissed Humidor as a legitimate Makybe Diva Stakes contender based on the erratic Kiwi’s work, Darren Weir and Damian Lane would have forgiven their scepticism.
Prone to meltdowns, Humidor has built a reputation as much for waywardness as undeniable talent.
Since arriving at Weir’s stable last year, the gelding has slowly reformed. But many of those doubts were banished yesterday when Lane bounced back from a fall to pilot Humidor to a defining Group 1 win at Flemington.
Six months on from an emphatic Australian Cup triumph, Humidor rocketed into Caulfield Cup favouritism as TAB slashed his odds from $11 to $5.
For Lane and Weir — and his patient staff — Project Humidor is starting to bear seriously good fruit, as evidenced by the gaping margin over Hartnell and Black Heart Bart.
“Humidor ran unbelievable really. He’s always promised to do that, but it’s been a matter of getting him right. And the team have worked hard trying to get his manners better,” Weir said “It’s clear at his last two starts that it’s working.
“He’s paraded a lot better and Damian’s done a lot of the hard yards going to Casterton and Coleraine doing all his trackwork.
“There’s been a lot of hard work by the crew behind the scenes, but he still wanted to lay in a little bit getting around the corner. “But he’s getting there. “In trackwork, he’s got his head in the right spot and he’s not sweating up as much as he normally would. I think we’re winning the battle.”
Lane thought his day may have been over when he crashed with Limestone in the Danehill Stakes, but won the Let’s Elope Stakes on Sword Of Light before the Humidor win.
“For a few moments there I thought I’d definitely at least be missing the rest of the day,” Lane said.
“But I gave it five or 10 minutes and I felt good to go. I’m lucky to have escaped with no injury.”
Lane said Humidor was a talent.
“He lobbed along out the back and he travelled up underneath me turning for home,” Lane said. “I thought I was the winner a long way out.
“He’s come such a long way since he came into the stable. “Credit to Darren and all his team. “They’ve got such a good knack of getting these horses to relax and he’s ... showing it now.
Weir said Humidor was likely to head to the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on October 7.
Kerrin McEvoy said Hartnell didn’t finish off as he expected.
“He finished off OK but the winner showed more dash than me there today,” McEvoy said.