A joint injury has forced the early retirement of the Darren Weir-trained one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune who will now prepare for the next stage of his career serving at stud.
The Ballarat-based Weir noticed an injury to seven-year-old Shamardal stallion Puissance De Lune while the grey galloper was preparing for an autumn carnival return where owner Gerry Ryan hoped to have broken the horse’s Group 1 duck.
Puissance De Lune however has bowed out of racing without an elite level title to boost his value as a sire, the horse having won eight of his 22 career starts for $874,995 in prize money.
“He’s retired now, he’s going to stud,” Weir confirmed to Sky Racing.
“He just had a little joint problem so we just decided to stop.
“Gerry Ryan just said he’s been a really good horse for him and for me and he said we’ll just stop.
“Hopefully he can do the job as a stallion now.”
The classy runner began his racing life in France where he had four runs before being imported down under for an Australian debut in May of 2012.
He kicked things off in fine style with non-black type wins at Warrnambool and Sandown-Hillside that winter but really hit his straps during the spring.
Working his way through the grades the French expat won his first stakes race with a barnstorming eight length victory in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) in late October.
He backed up from that to win by five lengths this time defeating Ironstein in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
He shot to the top of the markets for the 2013 Melbourne Cup then after coming back in the autumn to win the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) in a dead-heat with Budriguez before his campaign was cut short and he spent five months on the sidelines.
Another first-up Group 2 win followed in August however when he won the P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) ahead of his elite level debut when nosed out of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) win at Flemington that September by the winner Foreteller.
His other most notable run that campaign was a second to Happy Trails when a neck away in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), after which he ran a disappointing 12th to three-year-old winner Shamus Award in the Group 2 Cox Plate (2040m) before another setback.
Injury saw him spend nearly 10 months on the sidelines and his return the following August was only fair when unsuccessfully defending his P.B. Lawrence Stakes title.
Puissance De Lune then ran third in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington to the same Peter Moody-trained winner Dissident.
What turned out to be his swansong appearance was then on October 4 last year back at Flemington in the Turnbull Stakes where he crossed three lengths away fourth to talented mare Lucia Valentina.
His premature retirement sees Swettenham Stud in Victoria welcome the stallion into their care later this year.
“It was a shame that things went wrong,” Weir said.
“It’s unfortunate but he was a good horse and I think he’ll make a good stallion.”
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