Apprentice Harry Coffey expects first up winner Signoff to put in a repeat performance when he lines up in the $90,000 Pipine Lane Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Darren Weir trained Signoff resumed from a lengthy injury enforced spell to score a first up win in the Listed $120,000 Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day and Coffey expects the promising stayer to be even more comfortable on the bigger spaces at Flemington.
“It was his first day out for a long time and he was pretty fresh before it so the natural benefit of that day out will do him a world of good,” Coffey told the Sportsman.
“The benefit he will get out of the rise to 2000m will be humungos but he is second-up off an injury enforced break so he has a lot of fitness to come.”
“Hopefully he gets plenty of room and has a lot of space for the big lovely stride he has and can hit the line late.”
The Authorized gelding was off the scene with a tendon injury and the Lord Stakes was his first outing since running eighth to Silverball in the $80,000 Ross Stevenson Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on April 11 last year.
Signoff was racing in the best form of his career during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington that secured him a place in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington three days later.
Signoff ran a mighty race on the First Tuesday In November and made up plenty of ground in the straight to run fourth to the German stayer Protectionist.
Another solid effort from Signoff on Saturday will see the six year old cement a trip to Adelaide for Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 14.
“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to run in the spring but we’ll hopefully head towards the Adelaide Cup with him and see what happens after that,” Weir said.
“It was only a very minor injury but he’s a really nice horse so we made sure we took all the precautions necessary and he’s still only a young horse so hopefully he’ll be around for next spring.”
A successful comeback during the Autumn Carnival could see Weir endeavour on another Melbourne Cup campaign with Signoff.
Coffey reflected on Signoff’s first up win at Caulfield and was stunned with the ease the gelding was able to reel in his opposition.
“We weren’t expecting him to win but we expected him to run well,” Coffey said.
“It was just about getting him back to the races safe and sound, winning was just a bonus.”
“In the run he was relaxed and casual, as you would expect from a stayer, and when the pressure went on at the 600m he came off the bridle.”
“I thought he was just going to whack away into the placings but once he wound right up it was incredible how quickly he got to them and mowed them down.”
“He timed it all himself, not me. I was a passenger not a pilot.”
Piping Lane Handicap market order at Ladbrokes.com.au. $4 Second Bullet, $4.80 Signoff, $5 Allergic, $8 Metaphorical, $9 Warrior King, $10 Sabor A Triunfo, $11 Star Rolling, $15 Golden Mane, $21 Oregon Spirit, $26 Faust, Inspector, $71 Rebel Rising.