Next cup star

PUISSANCE de Lune is the new favourite for the 2013 Melbourne Cup.

The imported French stayer rushed to the top of the early market after a stunning win in the group 3 $250,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, 2600m, at Flemington on Saturday.

It was no ordinary victory.

The five-year-old romped away by five lengths from Ironstein ($26), with Tanby ($21) another 2.5 lengths away in third place.

While Puissance de Lune ($3 favourite) left his Ballarat trainer Darren Weir almost lost for words, there was no keeping jockey Glen Boss quiet about the Irish-bred grey.

“Things can go wrong,” Weir said.

Boss: “We’re looking at a superstar.

“If he keeps his wheels on he could be anything.”

Puissance de Lune sprinted away to put the race in his keeping with 300m to go.

So excited was Boss that he stood tall in the saddle for the last 200m, waving to the crowd.

Bookmakers reacted by shortening Puissance from $26 to $8 for next year’s Cup.

Weir knows what it takes to prepare a Melbourne Cup contender.

He took She’s Archie to second place in the 2003 Melbourne Cup – chasing home the Glen Boss-ridden Makybe Diva.

Puissance de Lune’s emergence is perfect timing for prominent businessman and owner Gerry Ryan. He also part-owned 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, who was last week retired to stud.

Puissance de Lune is only lightly raced. He arrived at Weir’s Ballarat stable with just four starts under his belt.

Now based in Weir’s beachside satellite stable at Warrnambool, Puissance de Lune has won four of eight runs in Australia – including this year’s listed $250,000 Bendigo Cup by eight lengths.

Weir kept a conservative approach ahead of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

“I’m looking forward to it so I can see where he’s at because he’s taking on some better horses,” Weir said.

Darren Weir

Darren Weir

“If he can take his Bendigo form there you’d reckon he’s a great chance.”

Weir said the Bendigo Cup had been the aim for the stayer and he was pleasantly surprised at the winning margin.

“He looks in great order going into Saturday,” Weir said.

“Bendigo was the goal when he came in this preparation and then if he went well at Bendigo we had this race as a maybe.

“We knew we had him in great order last start, but to be honest we weren’t expecting him to do that.”

Puissance de Lune, which now goes for a spell ahead of an autumn campaign, was the highlight of an impressive Melbourne Cup carnival for Weir.

He also won the listed $150,000 Lexus Hybrid Plate for three-year-old fillies, 1400m, with Walk With Attitude on Tuesday and the $100,000 Grazia Ultimate Style, 1600m, with Lord of Brazil on Thursday.

The lightly-raced Lake Sententia also finished a close second in the group 2 $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, 2000m, on Saturday.


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