After suffering an injury during the Cox Plate last October, Darren Weir’s consistent grey import Puissance De Lune is set to return this August for a title defense in the 2014 P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
The Shamardal grey could only manage to finish 12th beaten nearly 11 lengths by star three-year-old Shamus Award in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival after suffering a tendon injury during the run.
They were sent to the paddock immediately after to recover and haven’t raced since missing the entire autumn.
The six-year-old however has been back in work for just shy of two months and is getting set for their new season return.
“He’s had about seven weeks work and is now starting to go to the sand dunes,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“He’ll have a jump out in about a month.”
Weir is planning their first-up run for August 16 in the $220,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse.
It’s a race the stallion won first-up off a five month break last year before they went on to contest four Group 1 races on the trot.
Following the Lawrence Stakes their opening elite level target this spring will likely be in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) back at the track on August 30.
From there they’ll run at Flemington on September 13 in the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) going up to the mile, a race they ran a devastatingly close second behind Foreteller in last year.
Their subsequent runs last spring were then in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (8100m), the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and then the Cox Plate.
This time Weir is just focused on the Memsie – Makybe Diva double and will plan further ahead once he sees how they come back in those targets.
Also gearing up for their spring seasons were fellow stable aces Signoff, Schweppes Oaks winner May’s Dream and last start The Goodwood runner-up Platelet who won that race and the Robert Sangster in Adelaide last year.
Rising five-year-old Signoff has won six of their seven starts to date, including their past two by a combined 10 lengths back in March over 2400m (Bendigo) and 2500m (Moonee Valley) respectively.
An exciting staying prospect then they could resume in the $60,000 Gold Nugget Handicap (1600m) at Ballarat on September 21.
Their main target from there is then likely to be the lucrative $240,000 Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 29.
While Weir is yet to confirm a $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) bid for Puissance De Lune, they pay $41 in the pre-nomination markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the October 18 classic.
They also feature in futures markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November paying a $34 in odds led by Sydney Cup winner The Offer.