The Australian racing year has been a tale of two trainers.
The largest and most winning stables of season 2015/16 belong to Victorian Darren Weir and Kiwi turned Sydneysider Chris Waller.
Weir easily had Waller’s measure in total wins as he broke John Hawkes’ 13-year-old Australasian training record and finished the season with 348 winners, while Waller ended the racing year with 281.
But for quality over quantity, Waller broke his own tally from the previous season to train 15 Group One winners.
Weir was Waller’s closest rival with six elite level wins.
Waller’s cause was aided by the rare talent of champion mare Winx, who was responsible for five of his Group One wins including the Cox Plate, his first success in Australia’s big four.
Winx won the race in record time and is certain to be crowned horse of the year.
Ten days after Winx’s Cox Plate triumph, Weir claimed Australian racing’s biggest prize when jockey Michelle Payne created history by guiding $101 chance Prince Of Penzance to victory in the Melbourne Cup.
Despite taking the biggest chunk of the Cup’s $6.2 million purse, Weir was also outgunned by Waller in prize money earned for the season.
Waller smashed his own Australian record by more than $3 million to grab in excess of $30 million for the season while Weir’s winnings topped $21 million.
Weir, who hails from tiny Berriwillock in Victoria’s Mallee region and has stables in Ballarat and Warrnambool, was dominant on his state’s country tracks where he trained 99 winners – 59 more than closest rival Symon Wilde.
In contrast, Sydney-based Waller’s 212 metropolitan wins made up 77 per cent of his total haul.
Waller waited until the season’s final Saturday to create more history and record his 169th winner to break his own record of 167.5 Sydney victories.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au