Hu­mi­dor minds his man­ners to up­set Hart­nell

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK IN MEL­BOURNE

IF CASTER­TON track­watch­ers last week had dis­missed Hu­mi­dor as a le­git­i­mate Makybe Diva Stakes con­tender based on the er­ratic Kiwi’s work, trainer Darren Weir and jockey Damian Lane would have for­given their scep­ti­cism.

No­to­ri­ously prone to melt­downs, Hu­mi­dor has built a rep­u­ta­tion as much for way- ward­ness as un­de­ni­able tal­ent.

Since ar­riv­ing at Weir’s sta­ble last year, the geld­ing has slowly re­formed, not that he is the fin­ished ar­ti­cle yet.

Many of those doubts were ban­ished yes­ter­day when Lane pi­loted a sur­pris­ingly tractable Hu­mi­dor to an­other defin­ing Group 1 vic­tory at Flem­ing­ton.

Six months on from an em­phatic Aus­tralian Cup vic­tory, Hu­mi­dor rock­eted into Caulfield Cup favouritism as UBET slashed his odds to $5.50.

For Lane and Weir – and his pa­tient staff – Project Hu­mi­dor is start­ing to bear good fruit, as ev­i­denced by the gap­ing mar­gin over yes­ter­day’s placeget­ters 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. “It’s good for the fu­ture.” Lane, who rode a dou­ble af­ter his fall from Lime­stone ear­lier in the day, de­scribed Hu­mi­dor as a great tal­ent who was start­ing to put it all to­gether.

“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.”

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.

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

DOM­I­NANT: Hu­mi­dor (green colours) wins eas­ily at Flem­ing­ton.

TEAM EF­FORT: Hu­mi­dor’s trainer Darren Weir.

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