Bowen happy with progress ahead of Oatens Casino Benchmark

MELBOURNE trainer Darren Weir, who had a winning double at Caulfield on Saturday, has built a reputation for improving horses he gets from other stables.

But what about a former Darren Weir trained galloper going else-where?

Ballina trainer Daniel Bowen is hoping to do a Darren Weir with Centauraine, which will line up at Lismore today in the Oatens Casino Benchmark 65 Hcp (1516m).

The six-year-old mare was formerly trained by Weir but came to Bowen by way of an Inglis tried horse sale in Melbourne for a mere $1000.

"I did my homework before buying her," said Bowen, who races the mare with Lismore businessman Steve Butcher.

Bowen is chasing his first win with the mare at Lismore when she lines up for her fourth start with the new stable.

"Her three runs for me have all been pretty good," Bowen said.

"She ran well first up then got caught three wide throughout on the Gold Coast.

"Last start she struck traffic at the wrong time. Glenn Lynch said the favourite came out under his neck near the home turn and he never got out until late.

"If he did she either wins or runs second. It did show me she was up to open class horses."

Centauraine is a backmarker which, due to the vagaries of racing, can be telling.

"We're probably going to have to ride her the same way at Lismore on Monday (go back early)," Bowen said.

"She's been unlucky in the three runs she's had for me but she's worked home nicely, which is a good sign.

"She's fit and well."

Bowen admitted it took him and jockey and track rider Danny Peisley a while to get a handle on the daughter of Danzero.

"She's a big, bold looking mare," he said.

"She's a quiet mare around the stables but she can pull and has a few tricks up her sleeve in track work.

"It took us a while to figure her out. Danny rides her in all her work and he's worked her out.

"I don't take her to the track every day. She does a lot of slow work away from the track.

"She seems to be settling in well.

"Being a backmarker she's going to need a bit of luck but if she gets it she'll be right in the finish."