2016 Adelaide Cup Aim for Signoff

After being ruled out of the entire spring carnival due to injury the Darren Weir-trained stayer Signoff is set to return Saturday week in Melbourne with a long term goal to get the horse to the Adelaide Cup 2016 in March.


2014 Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Signoff returns from injury Saturday week ahead of an Adelaide Cup campaign next March. Photo: Sarah Ebbett.

Fourth to runaway winner Protectionist in last year’s Melbourne Cup, Authorized six-year-old Signoff hasn’t been seen since injuring himself first-up at Flemington on April 11 with eighth to Silverball over the mile.

A winner of seven of his 15 starts, the lightly-raced gelding gets the chance to return to the winners’ stall and get back to the business of racing with a run at Flemington on December 12.

Weir won this year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in a massive upset on the first Tuesday of November with the Michelle Payne ridden $101 shot Prince Of Penzance.

He has another of the two mile Cup races on the agenda now for stablemate Signoff who is being prepared with the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville Racecourse in early March in mind.

“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to run in the spring but we’ll hopefully head towards the Adelaide Cup with him and see what happens after that,” Weir told Racing Victoria.

Weir is happy with the way the horse has recovered from a minor suspensory ligament, naming a 1400m race as the first-up goal at the track where he posted his best win to date with a two and a half-length effort over Big Memory in last year’s Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day.

“He’s ready to run on Saturday week,” Weir told Racing Victoria.

“He’ll have a gallop at Terang (Wednesday) morning and his last trial was good which suggests that he’s ready to kick off.

“I think they’ll be too speedy for him in a 1400m handicap but it looks a nice race for him but as long as he hits the line and gets through the race well that’s the main thing.

“It was only a very minor injury but he’s a really nice horse so we made sure we took all the precautions necessary and he’s still only a young horse so hopefully he’ll be around for next spring.”

Weir also has one nominee for the feature race in Melbourne this weekend with his Danehill Dancer mare Tuscan Sling entered for the $100,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown Hillside.

The short-distanced handicap attracted 20 early entries including last year’s winner Danger Close who is undefeated at the track and Mark Kavanagh’s in-form mare Wild Rain who worked a treat on the steeple grass at Flemington on Tuesday morning ahead of her third-up run this campaign.

Five-year-old Tuscan Sling meanwhile has had one run for one third at the track and distance when beaten under three lengths by Hazard in early April.

Two back she ran a brave third beaten just over half a length by Vezalay in Caulfield’s Listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m) before a last start seventh, again narrowly beaten by only 1.5 lengths, behind Pittsburgh Flyer in the Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m).

Run on a Heavy (9) Flemington track during the Melbourne Cup Carnival on Crown Oaks Day, November 5, the form coming out of the GH Mumm Stakes has already stacked-up with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained runner-up Dublin Lass winning last Saturday’s Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.

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