Popular seven-year-old stayer Puissance De Lune has been retired, with trainer Darren Weir confirming the horse will now go to stud.
Just last month Weir had said he was happy with the grey’s progress heading into the autumn, however after suffering a joint problem he was ruled out of yet another campaign, which prompted connections to make the decision to retire the horse early.
“He’s retired now, he’s going to stud,” Weir told Sky Racing.
“He just had a little joint problem so we just decided to stop. (Owner) Gerry Ryan just said he’s been a really good horse for him and for me and he said we’ll just stop.
“Hopefully he can do the job as a stallion now.”
Puissance De Lune has had a rough time of it since being imported from France at the beginning of 2012. He emerged as a potential star stayer after massive wins in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) and the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) that year, which quickly set him up as early favourite for the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) the following spring.
However, Puissance De Lune would never get the chance to contest the $6.2 million race that stops the nation.
In the spring of 2013, the horse won the Group 2 Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first-up before running second in both the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m). However it all turned sour in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), in which the horse ran third-last.
Puissance De Lune was found to have a tendon injury following the race, which meant he would miss out on the Melbourne Cup and spend nine months on the sidelines in recovery.
The horse returned to the track to defend his Lawrence Stakes title in August last year, however he wasn’t great late and finished midfield in sixth place. The seven-year-old did manage to earn minor placings in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Makybe Diva Stakes.
Weir laments the fact that race fans never saw the full potential Puissance De Lune had to offer, or that the horse never earned his much-deserved Group One win. However he believes the horse will flourish in his next chapter as a stallion.
“It was a shame that things went wrong,” Weir said.
“It’s unfortunate but he was a good horse and I think he’ll make a good stallion.”