A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir may be finishing up a stellar year of racing but the campaign of his returning galloper Signoff is just about to kick off at Caulfield Racecourse on Boxing Day.
Weir has named the $120,000 Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) as the likely first-up assignment for the six-year-old son of Authorized who hasn’t raced since early April.
Lightly raced for his age with injuries plaguing his 15 start career to date, the consistent gelding has won seven times amassing over $666,000 in prize money with winning form up to 2500m.
Last spring in was runner-up in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and third in the Group 3 Coongy Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield before winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day.
That earned him a shot at the world’s richest handicap and Signoff was far from disgraced in last year’s iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) when fourth in the two mile Flemington classic behind Protectionist.
Weir atoned and returned in 2015 with $101 roughie Prince Of Penzance who scored the upset in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
Signoff meanwhile returned on April 11 back at Flemington this autumn but could only manage to finish eighth behind Silverball over the mile before a minor tendon injury ruled him out of another run for 2015.
Weir originally had the recovered horse set for a Flemington return on Saturday however he opted to delay his first-up run to put a little more work through his legs before his much awaited comeback.
The galloper had a Terang jump-out last Tuesday proving his fitness and proving to Weir that he was close to hitting the tracks under race conditions once again.
“He’s in good shape but I just wanted to make sure he’s right as he had a tendon injury,” Weir told AAP.
“There’s no hurry with him but Adelaide is a possibility so he’ll have to kick off pretty soon.”
The highlight of the Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival is the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) run over the same distance as the Melbourne Cup at Morphettville Racecourse in early March.
With proven ability over the distance, the 2016 Adelaide Cup is an obvious target for Signoff.
Weir saddled-up Haradasun gelding Taiyoo in this year’s Adelaide Cup where the galloper, who won the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) the start before as the odds-on favourite at the same track, finished a brave second to Tanby in a photo-finish.
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