BALLARAT trainer Darren Weir will plot the next stage of his campaign for Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune following the horse’s racetrack return at Flemington today.
The grey, who is a $7.50 chance for this year’s Cup with online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au, will resume in the group 2 Blamey Stakes, 1600m, where he will carry top weight of 59kg for jockey Glen Boss.
Weir told The Courier he will then meet with owner Gerry Ryan to discuss the horse’s progression forward, which could include one more run this autumn before a return in the spring.
“It will be the paddock or maybe the Easter Cup (at Caulfield on March 30),” Weir said.
Puissance De Lune enjoyed a six-week break following his stunning win in the group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, 2600m, at Flemington during the spring carnival and has been put through a lead-up that has involved gallops and trials at Terang, a jump-out at Ballarat and some fast work on the course proper at Warrnambool last Friday.
Weir said his charge was heading into the Blamey, where he is a $4.40 chance with the TAB, in good order.
“He’s done enough work. I’m not sure whether he can win, but I don’t think fitness is the worry,” Weir said.
“I just want him to hit the line.”
Weir said he expected jockey Glen Boss to have the five-year-old settle fifth or sixth in running before ripping home in the straight.
The Ballarat trainer is no stranger to preparing a Melbourne Cup runner, with She’s Archie starting in two Cup editions with a best finish of second in 2003 and Leica Ding placing 14th in 2009.
Puissance De Lune joined Weir with four starts under his belt in France.
He has won five races since arriving in Australia, with his biggest successes coming at his two most recent runs in the listed Bendigo Cup and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The son of Shamardal is based at Weir’s Warrnambool satellite stable, where he is closely managed by foreman Mitch Freedman.
Meanwhile, Ballarat stayer Tuscan Fire has drawn wide in barrier 16 for Monday’s group 2 Adelaide Cup, 3200m.
The Dan O’Sullivan-trained galloper will also be ridden by Boss.