Ballarat horseman Darren Weir has welcomed back into work his star stayer Puissance De Lune who is dominating the early Melbourne Cup 2013 betting markets ahead of the ‘race that stops a nation’ this spring carnival.
Rising six-year-old Shamardal grey Puissance De Lune is the early punters’ pick to add their name to a list of the world’s best stayers by winning the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 5, 2013.
In the current pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds the consistent stallion pays $9 following their impressive rise through the ranks last spring and again upon their return in the autumn.
Puissance De Lune first caught the eye when they came off a second at Warrnambool to put a minimum eight lengths on their rivals in a smashing Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) victory.
That was their first stakes assignment and also their first look at the mile and a half, ace hoop and former Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss declaring them the 2013 Melbourne Cup winner right then and there on the back of that performance.
“He is a proper horse, a serious racehorse,” Boss, who boasts three Melbourne Cup trophies as well as two Cox Plate victories, said.
But more positing signs were to follow when they went to Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day 10 days after their Bendigo Cup success to win by another easy margin, this time defeating Ironstein by five in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
After a four month freshen up Puissance De Lune returned on March 9, Boss reuniting with his Melbourne Cup 2013 tip, and dead-heated for first with Budriguez in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).
That was their only run of the autumn however and Puissance De Lune subsequently had to undergo minor leg surgery after that to remove bone chips from their front fetlocks.
But Weir has been working them again at a Warrnambool base, where they will spend the bulk of their training instead of at the main stables in Ballarat, and says they are progressing extremely well ahead of their return.
“He looks fantastic,” Weir said this week.
“He’s matured and he’s got a bit more body about him, which is good.
“He didn’t bully up like a massive, big bull. He just furnished all over.
“His legs are good and he’s where he needs to be at this stage. It’s only early days but the legs are cold and he’s sound.
“He’ll just tick over for another two weeks and then we’ll start doing a little bit more.
“He does all his work at the beach and he’ll do most of it in the water and in the deep sand dunes.”
News this week also broke that Puissance De Lune would likely vie for a unique spring double, one achieved by triple Melbourne Cup winning mare Makybe Diva back in 2005, by also vying for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) trophy at Moonee Valley on October 26.
“He’ll follow a similar program as (Melbourne Cup winner) Green Moon last year, going into the Cox Plate third up and the Melbourne Cup fourth up,” Boss said.
“Any more and you might make him too dour.”
In Cox Plate betting Puissance De Lune is at $16 with It’s A Dundeel the $4.20 favourite.
Other early fancies in the Melbourne Cup betting markets include last year’s runner-up Fiorente ($10) prepared by Gai Waterhouse, Luca Cumani’s international raider Mount Athos ($10) and the now Robert Hickmott-trained Sea Moon ($11).
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