Melbourne Cup second acceptances today will have one high profile absentee with one time favourite Puissance De Lune heading for the spelling paddock as a result of him pulling up lame after finishing twelfth to Shamus Award in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
A stud career awaits the former French galloper if vet reports prompt owner Gerry Ryan not to race Puissance De Lune again.
“He will have scans tomorrow at Ballarat after he pulled up lame after the Cox Plate. But he will not run in the Melbourne Cup, if he ever runs again,” a disappointed Ryan told the Herald Sun yesterday.
“But there is always a stud career.
“That’s racing. You move on. I am just really fortunate that a Bendigo Cup winner has gone on to do so well and give me a lot of thrills.”
Puissance De Lune had been the long-time favourite for the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) to be run Flemington next week and was still in the first two or three in the betting before finishing near the tail of the field on Saturday.
The Shamardal six year old was sent out the second favourite at $5.50 for the Cox Plate behind Kiwi star It’s A Dundeel ($4), but after travelling just behind the leading bunch failed to run on and dropped out in the straight to beat two runners home.
Subsequently it was found that on pulling up Puissance De Lune was lame in the near fore-leg and his Melbourne Cup campaign was in ruins.
Trainer Darren Weir was naturally disappointed after the Cox Plate and will be anxiously awaiting for the vet’s reports.
“We’ll have everything tested and get the results tomorrow,” Weir said.
With Puissance De Lune on the sideline, the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente is now a clear cut $5 Melbourne Cup favourite after running another slashing Cup trial when third in the Cox Plate on Saturday.
English stayers Dandino ($8) and Mount Athos ($10) are still high up in the market order while the Chris Waller trained Hawkpsur is still in the mix at $12 after a solid run when seventh to Fawkner in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19.