James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
After missing this week’s Adelaide Cup due to an elevated temperature, the Darren Weir-trained Signoff’s long term target is a spring return targeting the country’s premier two mile feature the Melbourne Cup 2016.
Irish import Signoff was nearing odds-on territory to take out Monday afternoon’s $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) and retain his undefeated Morphettville track record.
Last time out the in-form Authorized six-year-old blitzed his rivals at the course winning the traditional Adelaide Cup lead-up, the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) by over six lengths.
Weir made the call to withdraw the gun gelding from the Adelaide Cup field over the weekend however after he was showing signs of illness on Saturday morning.
“I knew something wasn’t right when he left a dipper of feed this morning, which he never does,” Weir told The Advertiser.
“We took his temperature and it came back at 38.9C.
“We could have waited for another 24 hours but he’d have had to travel first thing tomorrow (Sunday) … and it’s just not worth the risk.
“I’d much rather have two in it than one. It’s not ideal but what can you do?”
The stable will still saddle-up one of the race’s shortest-priced favourites in history with 2015 Perth Cup winning mare Real Love sitting top of the updated Adelaide Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2.20 for the win.
Formerly prepared in WA, the Bob & Sandra Peters-owned Desert King mare comes off a smart Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) win at Flemington from March 5 and drops a kilo to 55.5kg in the Adelaide Cup.
Signoff on the other hand heads to the paddock to prepare for a spring return where his major assignment will be on the first Tuesday of November in the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse.
Weir won last year’s Melbourne Cup in a massive upset with $101 winner Prince Of Penzance.
Futures Melbourne Cup betting this year is currently led by Mick Price’s Victoria Derby winner from last year Tarzino ($15) whose major autumn aim this time in is the $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m) on April 2 at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
To back your favourites in today’s Adelaide Cup and to enjoy access to the best all-in markets on all the upcoming Group 1s in Australia make sure you sign-up with Ladbrokes.com.au!
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