This Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse fans and punters will get their first official look at the Melbourne Cup 2013 favourite Puissance De Lune when Darren Weir’s Ballarat galloper resumes racing in the $220,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
Always an anticipated spring lead-up for some star stayers, the 2013 P.B. Lawrence Stakes will be an especially important event this year as the early pick to win the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November will race first-up in the weight-for-age feature.
Not having raced since dead-heating for the Group 2 Blamey Stakes win over the Flemington mile with Budriguez back in March, Shamardal grey Puissance De Lune is gearing up for their maiden run of the new season.
The pressure is on the Gerry Ryan-owned five-year-old stallion too as they look for their fourth straight win, and to keep the punters in their good books as they currently sit top of the Melbourne Cup odds at a quote of $8.50.
The Irish-bred Puissance De Lune has been well liked for the ‘race that stops a nation’ since last October when they won the Bendigo Cup (2400m) by eight lengths.
For that run they were ridden by triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss who declared them there and then as the next year’s Melbourne Cup champion.
They further franked that form with another big win this time by five lengths in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
Their autumn prep was cut to just the one run though with the horse having to undergo minor surgery on their knee to remove bone chips.
Fully recovered now, Weir is confident Puissance De Lune will be a force to be reckoned with in the Lawrence Stakes this weekend after their nice track gallop at Ballarat on the weekend.
“He worked well, the track was heavy so he wasn’t asked to do a lot but I was really pleased with the way he pulled up after the hit out,” Weir told Racing Victoria on Saturday.
Weir’s only concern now is whether the horse will prove to be a genuine two miler.
“I guess you’re never convinced until you see it,” he told the Herald Sun.
“We’re going to learn a fair bit along the way.
“He settles well and is a clean-winded horse. You need both to run two miles, so I guess they are decent positives.”
Leading up to the Melbourne Cup Puissance De Lune will also vie for some WFA gold in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26, but has been ruled out of the Caulfield Cup a week earlier so as to avoid a weight penalty.
“No, Gerry just wants the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup … It’s all penalty free,” Weir said according to the Brisbane Times.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the P.B. Lawrence Stakes nominations once they’re released.
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