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Trainer Darren Weir is pleased with the way his Makybe Diva Stakes 2014 hope Puissance De Lune has pulled through a public gallop at Warracknabeal over the weekend.
It was the Shamardal grey’s first major appearance since injuring their tendon during a failed run in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley when 12th to Shamus Award last October.
One time favourite for the 2012 Melbourne Cup, the rising seven-year-old strutted their stuff on Sunday and, more importantly, came through the run without issue.
“He got through the gallop nicely. His legs are good today, which is the main thing,” Weir told the Herald Sun on Monday.
“We took him there for a day out and just to get the show rolling again and everything went well.”
Jack hill rode Puissance De Lune on Sunday as they worked with the fellow Weir-trained Streets Away.
The imported French stayer had a strong Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival last year before the Cox Plate including two Group 1 seconds.
First-up Glen Boss rode them to a nice Caulfield win in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
That same race on August 16 is again penciled in as Puissance De Lune’s resuming run following a second exhibition gallop and a lead-up trial.
“He’ll have another exhibition gallop in 10 days at Bendigo and then he’ll go into a trial,” Weir confirmed.
After the PB Lawrence they will race in the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 for the second year in a row.
Last spring they came devastatingly close to a Makybe Diva win in their first Group 1 start when a nose away second to Foreteller after being inconvenienced near the 1200m mark.
Weir is focusing on the Makybe Diva this year then, after which he’ll make more decisions on the horse’s spring carnival path.
They are already listed as an unofficial entry for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November, a race they missed a start in two years ago on the back of an eight length Bendigo Cup victory.
Futures Melbourne Cup odds are a wide open affair and Puissance De Lune is in the mix at $34.
Weir however has said they are unlikely to target the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Instead if they were to focus on one of the spring majors it would be another shot in the Cox Plate on October 25.
Weir could still be represented in this year’s Melbourne Cup field however with Signoff also in the mix.
The four-year-old Authorized gelding has won six of their seven starts to date progressing through the ranks well.
A five length winner in the Stayers Final (2400m) at Bendgio in mid-March they were last seen winning by the same margin over 2500m at Moonee Valley in a Benchmark 90 on March 29.
To assess their Melbourne Cup potential Weir plans to run Signoff if the $250,000 Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 29.
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