LEADING Victorian trainer Darren Weir will look outside the spring’s three big feature races to find Puissance De Lune’s elusive group 1 this campaign.
Weir on Wednesday said the horse had now been back at his Warrnambool stables for about three weeks.
After injuring a tendon in last year’s Cox Plate, and having had subsequent surgery here in Ballarat, the star grey is set for a race return in the PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16.
It is the same race Puissance De Lune won when kick-starting his spring assault last year.
This likely kick-off date will be the start of a 2014 campaign that is unlikely to include a return to the Cox Plate or a run in the Caulfield or Melbourne cups.
Instead, focus is around gaining a lucrative group 1 for ongoing stud value, with the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 the main aim.
A lead-up to this could include the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30, also at group 1 level.
The six-year-old was beaten narrowly by Foreteller in the Makybe Diva last year, which was followed by a seventh behind top mare Atlantic Jewel in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) and a narrow second to Happy Trails in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
All three held group 1 status.
Then followed the Cox Plate disappointment, which was
the last time we have seen the Gerry Ryan-owned entire at the races.
Meanwhile, emerging stable star Signoff has been back in work for about six weeks as he heads towards the listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 29.
This is the horse’s main aim during spring.
Also owned by Ryan, the four-year-old was spelled after claiming a fourth-straight win at Moonee Valley in late March.