Darren Weir’s four-year-old gelding Signoff will run in this afternoon’s Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) due to some sheer determination and luck. The gelding had to win the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Saturday to earn himself an automatic start in the Melbourne Cup 2014, and he did just that.
Wearing blinkers for the first time, Signoff and superstar international jockey Joao Moreira sailed home to an easy 2½ length victory. He nabbed the final spot in the 24 horse ‘race that stops the nation’ and will contest his first Group One race in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. Moreira will continue his partnership with the gelding at Flemington on Tuesday.
Punters are seriously getting behind Signoff, who is an $8 in the Melbourne Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, behind just Admire Rakti ($6), Fawkner and Lucia Valentina ($7.50).
His form is brilliant, having finished in the top three in all three of his last starts. The gelding was a close second in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before taking a minor placing away from the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m).
Signoff will also carry the lightest weight in the race. He was allocated 51kg after winning the 2014 Lexus Stakes but Moreira has advised connections he cannot strip his frame below 51.5kg, which would put him in line with Unchain My Heart. Will that be the difference between winning and losing the $6.2 million feature race?
Melbourne Cup Horse Form: #24 Signoff
- Barrier: 16 (into 15)
- Weight: 51kg
- Jockey: Joao Moreira
- Trainer: Darren Weir
- Owners: Limerick Lane, Mr A Mcgregor
- Age: 5YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Authorized (IRE) from Miss Hepburn (USA)
- Career: 13:7-1-2
- Win: 54%
- Place: 77%
- Last 6: 039231
- Prize Money: $414,035
- Track: 2:1-0-1
- Distance: 0:0-0-0
- Current 2014 Melbourne Cup Odds: $8
Why Signoff Can Win The 2014 Melbourne Cup
- Promising stayer that put his competition away with ease on Sunday in the Lexus Stakes
- Way down in weights on 51kg which could allow him speed over rivals such as Admire Rakti who will carry 8.5kg more
- Is known to finish strong on the line
- Trainer Darren Weir has had three attempts at the race in the past, even finishing runner-up in 2003 with She’s Archie
- Is the perfect age & sex to win the Cup – 5YO entires and geldings have won the race 40 times
- One of only three last start winners on the field
- Finished top three in his two starts over the Flemington track
Why Signoff Can’t Win The 2014 Melbourne Cup
- Was set to start from barrier 16 which has brought home three winners but following the scratching of Cavalryman is into barrier 15 which has seen just one winner and not since 1971
- Only one horse has backed up to win the Lexus Stakes since 1983 – Shocking in 2009
- Joao Moreira is a top international jockey but has never raced in the Melbourne Cup before
- Could be outclassed by his rivals – this is his first Group One race
- May have trouble backing up from the Lexus Stakes just three days previously
If you believe Signoff can win the Lexus Stakes/Melbourne Cup double, get behind the gelding at Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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