Unlucky not to take his place in the 2013 edition of the Race That Stops a Nation, trainer Darren Weir has confirmed classy stayer Puissance De Lune will not contest either of the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) or Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
A notable performer over the entire 2013 Australian racing calendar, Puissance De Lune claimed early favouritism for the Melbourne Cup on the back of impressive results in Group 1 feature events, but was unable to contest spring’s headline race when injuring a tendon during the running of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 26th.
Having since remained in the spelling paddock, Weir said connections had ruled out either of the Caulfield or Melbourne Cups as a target, instead outlining the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 13th as the goal.
“It is a little bit up in the air at the moment, but the Makybe Diva is the race we have earmarked and that will be third-up from a spell,” Weir told Racing Ahead.
“It is a race that he ran well in last year and we are sort of heading towards that, but we have have ruled out the Cups.
“It is just too hard for the horse with his leg problems, so we will just be keeping him to the shorter route trips.”
Confirmed the Shamardal entire will contest a barrier trial this week, Weir said a first-up appearance in the Group 2 P.B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) is likely to figure for the rising seven-year-old; an event he comfortably won in 2013.
“He is good. He has had two gallops at Warracknabeal,” Weir added.
“Everything is going how it needs to be at this stage and at some stage late next week he will have a 1000 metre barrier trial somewhere and we will be getting pretty close to kicking him off.”
Claiming an impressive total of eight wins and five minor places from just eighteen competitive starts so far, Puissance De Lune was unlucky to finish second in the 2013 edition of the Makybe Diva Stakes, and while disappointing when seventh in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (2800m) two weeks later, returned to impressive form when second in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 5th; his only other start prior to his ill-fated Cox Plate tilt.
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