DARREN Weir knew former French mare Telopea would run well on her Australian debut, but he didn’t expect her to demolish her rivals in the Maiden Plate at Bendigo.


Weir said Telopea, the first horse he has trained for Paul Fudge’s Waratah Thoroughbreds, came to him in great shape.


Telopea, a daughter of Pivotal, was having her first start in 12 months. Her only start saw her run 10th/15  in a Maiden at Saint Cloud. 


“She looked great, she looked a beautiful horse when she arrived,” Weir said. “Paul said ‘I’ll send you a nice horse’ and we have just taken her along steadily and she has got better the further she has got into the preparation. I thought she would run well, but I didn’t think she would do that.”


Telopea, the $2.70 favourite, extended in impressive fashion for Brad Rawiller as she opened up to win by three and a quarter lengths from Zimbabwe, $4.80, with one and a quarter lengths to Windfleet, $9.50, third.


Weir said he hadn’t picked out anything for Telopea. “Honestly, I just wanted to get past today first,” he said.


Brad Rawiller said Telopea continued to build momentum throughout the race and come the home turn "I had to let her go because she was going so well and she put them away pretty quickly."


Puissance De Lune will have a searching gallop at Ballarat on Friday as he heads towards the Turnbull Stakes (2000 m) at Flemington on October 4.


Weir described as “beautiful” the new Ballarat track, which will host its first meeting this year in a fortnight’s time.


“The shape of it is just magnificent,” enthused Weir.