Sensational P B Lawrence Stakes winner Puissance De Lune will be forced to face much tougher opposition at his next start as he continues on his way to the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup.
Puissance De Lune has firmed even further in the betting for the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5 and is now the $5.50 favourite.
While the Darren Weir trained import is certain to face up against Spring rivals It’s A Dundeel, Super Cool and Atlantic Jewel prior to the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
Australian Derby winner It’s A Dundeel is the current $5 favourite for the Cox Plate with Puissance De Lune breathing down his neck at $5.50 with Super Cool at $6 and Atlantic Jewel at $8.
Weir has reported that Puissance De Lune has pulled up in fine order following his last to first win in the Group 2 $220,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
“He had a bit of a wade through the water and was 100 per cent,’’ Weir told the Herald Sun.
Weir will give Puissance De Lune three weeks, or possibly four, before heading back to the track and knows that the Melbourne Cup favourite will need to keep on the improve when he takes on the stronger opposition in either the Group 1 $350,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7 or the Group 2 $300,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 14.
Both weight for age races are run over 1600m which will be perfect as a lead up to the Cox Plate, but Weir is yet to decide which venue he will pick.
Both have their pluses with the Makybe Diva offering Group 1 status while the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes could provide Puissance De Lune with a vital look at the tricky Moonee Valley track.
“If the Valley race was run when the Makybe Diva is run then I’d be leaning that way,’’ Weir said.
“Personally, I’d like to run in the Makybe Diva. It’s Group One now and would add a bit to his value at stud if he was able to win it.
“But equally, it’d be nice to have a hit-out at the Valley before the Cox Plate.’’
If Weir decides to go to Flemington, he will take Pussaince De Lune to Moonee Valley for a searching gallop prior to the Cox Plate.
The Group 1 $350,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in two weeks’ time now looks off the agenda with Weir wanting to give the six year old plenty of time to get over his first up win, his first racetrack appearance since dead heating with Budriguez Group 2 $220,000 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in March.