One giant leap for Puissance De Lune

| August 18, 2013
Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune makes stunning comeback at Caulfield

Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune makes stunning comeback at Caulfield

Puissance De Lune made a stunning return to the track, outclassing his rivals to win the PD Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield.

Ridden cold and seven lengths off the lead before the turn, Glen Boss picked his way through the field on the big grey to claim the 1,400-metre Group Two feature by a three-quarters of a length.

Puissance De Lune will have to defy history if he is to reach the pinnacle this spring, with no horse having won Saturday’s race, formerly the Liston Stakes, and going on to win the Cup.

But punters don’t seem to care; Darren Weir’s imported galloper has already shortened into favouritism for the Cox Plate and is now as low as $5 in some markets for the Cup.

“Darren only has to keep him breathing, keep his tyres pumped up and we’re going to have a lot of fun,” Boss said.

“He’s simply an extraordinary animal and passed them with ridiculous ease.

“A genuine superstar – I know it’s early in his preparation but I can’t describe it any other way.

“I’ve told everyone that besides Makybe Diva and So You Think, he’s up there with the best I’ve ridden.”

The victory over the unsuitably short trip was Puissance De Lune’s first appearance since claiming the Blamey in the autumn and subsequently undergoing a leg operation.

“His action has never been better,” Weir said, adding that he had yet to decide what path the horse would take heading into the Cox Plate.

“I’m not too sure because I’m just really glad to get past today and you’d like to see him pull up well tomorrow.”

Puissance De Lune went up at $2.25 in early betting for the Lawrence, but on Saturday he drifted to $3.80 before punters took the better value and sent him out a $3.50 favourite.

Talented four-year-old Ajeeb ($7.50) led the field and fought on to hold second at a brave weight-for-age debut, while last year’s winner Second Effort ($7.50) was third.

Puissance De Lune’s spring prospects look even brighter than they previously did following the barnstorming victory.

The Darren Weir-trained grey ($3.50 fav) rattled home from last down the home straight, clinching a comfortable victory over Ajeeb and Second Effort.

As a result, the six-year-old firmed from $6.50 to be the $5 favourite with the TAB for the Melbourne Cup and is now also the $5.50 Cox Plate favourite.

Jockey Glen Boss, who rode Puissance De Lune in the Bendigo Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes victories last spring and in the Blamey Stakes dead-heat in the autumn, was thrilled with the horse’s return.

“I told everyone, besides that mare (Makybe Diva) and So You Think, he’s right up there with the best horses I’ve ever ridden,” Boss said.

“He’s a genuine superstar.”

Weir was also over the moon with the comeback, a week after his second placing in a jump-out in Ballarat.

“That was great,” Weir said.

“(Boss) rode him well. The plan was to go back and be strong late. And the horse went great.”

Puissance De Lune is now expected to run in the group one Memsie Stakes (1400m) in a fortnight.


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