Melbourne Cup hopefuls Signoff and Prince Of Penzance to clash in the Spring

By: Mark Mazzaglia
June 24th, 2016

Stablemates Signoff and Prince Of Penzance look likely to clash during the 2016 Spring Carnival on their way towards the Group 1 $6m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

2015 Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance, above, is likely to clash with stablemate Signoff during the Spring Carnival Photo by Steve Hart.

2015 Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance, above, is likely to clash with stablemate Signoff during the Spring Carnival Photo by Steve Hart.

Signoff and last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance are both back in work and trainer Darren Weir is getting excited with the Spring Carnival just around the corner with several of his other stable stars ready to step up their work in the coming weeks.

“Next week we will start galloping a few more of the horses that are heading towards the Spring like Palentino, and those sort of horses,” Weir said.

At this stage Weir thinks that his two star stayers could clash in the Group 2 $250,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley in October on their way to the Melbourne Cup.

“They are probably the right horses to head towards the Moonee Valley Cup,” the Melbourne Cup winning trainer said.

“That is probably where they will both head to and how they get there I am not sure yet but it would be a nice sort a lead up into the big race (Melbourne Cup) hopefully.

“It will be very similar to what Prince of Penzance had last year, a similar sort of path.”

Weir is very pleased how Signoff has spelled after winning the Group 3 $120,000 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 5 and is looking forward to preparing him for the major Spring races.

“He is very good and he has plenty of condition on which is probably good, he has a big campaign ahead of him,” Weir said.

“He didn’t have long off. He only had a month off after he won in Adelaide.”

“He put on 45kg or something in that short of time. He couldn’t have any longer off because he is that type of horse, a great doing horse, so we had to get him back into work.”

“It is slowly coming off. But he is big, strong and very sound so I am happy with him at this stage.”

Prince Of Penzance has just resumed work after having a short break following his one start in the Autumn which saw him run a great second to stablemate Tonopah in the Group 3 $150,000 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 21.

“He just had over two weeks off. Just in the paddock, but went on the water walker for half an hour in the morning and spent the rest of the time in the paddock,” Weir said.

“He just had a little freshen up and he is back in and just poking around, doing a few miles, nothing strenuous.”

“He got through that run really well and he looks great too so hopefully things stay the way they are at the moment.”

In early Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Signoff is listed at $21 while Prince Of Penzance is marked as a $34 chance to defend his Melbourne Cup crown.

The Aidan O’Brien trained Order Of St George sits at the top of the market order at $13 ahead of Japanese stayer Fame Game and last year’s Melbourne Cup runner up Max Dynamite at $17.

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