Lad denies Brave pair in Aurie's Star

They do not combine often but Damien Oliver and Darren Weir did so for their second Group-level victory in partnership as Voodoo Lad sprinted late to win the $150,000, Group 3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

It's been more than a decade since the Oliver/Weir combo struck at Group level - it was the 2007 Matron Stakes (at Sandown) with Like It Is.

The market had the early-season sprint pretty well figured out - the trifecta were the top-three in the market - albeit Voodoo Lad the least fancied behind favourite Home Of The Brave and Brave Song.

Home Of The Brave did it all from the front and was still had an impressive Australian debut for James Cummings, while Brave Song stalked from the back of the small field and came with a late run for Peter and Paul Snowden.

It formed just one leg of a dominant period of the day for Weir, as he strung together four winners in succession at HQ - Choisborder, The Statesman, Voodoo Lad and Theanswermyfriend.

The beaten brigade in the Aurie's Star didn't go home deflated though, Cummings' Melbourne representative Reg Fleming positive after the import's Australian debut.

"I thought he did very well," Fleming said.

"First time up the Flemington straight, he did a lot of the work, the horse had the drop on him - and Voodoo Lad's a pretty good horse - so I thought he was brave in defeat.

"First run over here, first run up the straight, yeah [it was a good performance]."

Voodoo Lad, right, defeats Home Of The Brave (IRE), picture

Meanwhile, Weir did watch on as Man From Uncle was scratched at the gates for the second time recently - and Harry Coffey reported while it was frustrating, he was backing in the master trainer to sort out his barrier woes.

"It's extremely disappointing because he's going really well.

"He actually galloped next to Voodoo Lad and went with him on Monday, so a little bit disappointing.

"If there's one man that can fix him, it's Darren Weir, so he's got a little bit of work to do because he's a bit smarter than us at the moment - some horses are like that.

"He was full of spirits cantering down the straight, and I had to sit against him because he wanted to gallop - it was just a pity he didn't want to gallop with everyone else.

"We'll sort him out, and he'll be back at the races bigger and better soon."

Meanwhile, Japanese import Danon Liberty and Caulfield Cup favourite Kings Will Dream are set to headline Weir's strong hand in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) this coming Saturday.