The Darren Weir trained Signoff heads the field for the Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on Monday.
Eighteen stayers have accepted for the running of the 2016 Adelaide Cup with Weir also saddling up the 2015 Perth Cup winner Real Love.
Signoff has had an interrupted Adelaide Cup preparation but was back in contention with a rousing six and a half lengths win in the Group 3 $120,000 James Boag’s Premium Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville last Saturday.
The 2014 Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter tested positive to the drug ibuprofen following his first up win in the Listed $120,000 Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Signoff had been treated with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen for a leg injury in the months leading up to his return to the races and Weir had the six year old tested prior to the Lord Stakes with the results coming back negative.
But the drug was detected in post race swabs forcing Weir to scratch Signoff from the $90,000 Piping Lane Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on January 16, to avoid another positive reading even though the treatment had been stopped.
Weir had then continually tested Signoff for the presence of the drug and decided to get his Adelaide Cup program back on track when recent tests came back negative.
Apprentice Harry Coffey has been Signoff’s regular jockey this campaign and Weir has stuck with the young rider for his assignment on Monday
Signoff, who has to carry the top weight of 59kg, has drawn nicely at barrier two while stablemate Real Love has drawn worst than midfield at barrier twelve in the eighteen horse field.
Real Love was transferred to Weir from Perth trainer Adam Durrant to be prepared for the Autumn Carnival and the five year old mare had her first win for the Melbourne Cup winning trainer when she beat Dandy Gent and Black Jag in the Listed $120,000 3AW Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Brad Rawiller rode Real Love in the Roy Higgins Quality and will stick with the Perth owned mare in the Adelaide Cup.
Weir is obviously happy going into the Adelaide Cup with two last start winners and is giving both horses great chances.
“They’ve both been aimed at the (Adelaide Cup), so hopefully we’ll get two (good chances) in it,” Weir said.
The Grant Young trained Celtic Prince has a lot of ground to make up on Signoff after running second in the Lord Reims Stakes but does meet the top weight on 4kg better terms.
Celtic Prince has drawn barrier four and will again be ridden by Jake Toeroek while stablemate Tunes, who ran third in the Lord Reims Stakes, has drawn next to the outside at seventeen with Jamie Kah in the saddle.
In-form Tasmanian stayer Up Cups is chasing his fifth win on the trot and heads to Adelaide after completing a Cups double with wins in the Group 3 $200,000 Hobart Cup (2400m) and the Group 3 $200,000 Launceston Cup (2400m).
Tasmania’s leading jockey David Pires has been aboard Up Cups for his last four wins and will be in the saddle again on Monday at Morphettville and is certain to give the gelding another perfect run from barrier seven.
Adelaide Cup field: 1 Signoff (2), 2 Real Love (12), 3 Kushadasi (8), 4 Gamblin’ Guru (3), 5 Go Dreaming (15), 6 Like A Carousel (16), 7 Up Cups (7), 8 Swacadelic (14), 9 Jim’s Journey (11), 10 Lucques (10), 11 Tunees, (17), 12 Wales (13), 13 Last Wish (6), 14 Gallatin, (1), 15 Celtic Prince (4), 16 Distillation (9), 17 Tidy Prophet (5), 18 Purple Smile (18).