Melbourne Cup hopeful Signoff could make his first 2016 Spring Carnival appearance in the Listed $100,000 Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks in Adelaide on Saturday.
The Darren Weir trained stayer is also nominated for the 1500m Handicap at Moonee Valley on Saturday but racing manager Jeremy Rogers said the stable was leaning towards starting the seven year old under the weight for age conditions in Adelaide.
“We are favouring Adelaide with a better weight,’’ Rogers told The Advertiser.
Signoff carries a rating of 106 in Victoria and will be guaranteed to be fairly disadvantaged with a hefty weight against the lowly weighted horses in the Moonee Valley Handicap where as he would be better placed under the weight for age scale.
Weir has indicated last week that Signoff was close to a return to the race track when he hinted that he would most likely step out in the Group 1 $500,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10, but feels he might need a run before tackling Group 1 company again.
Signoff will be making his first appearance since winning the Group 3 $120,000 James Boag’s Premium Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 5 and Weir told RSN’s Racing Ahead that the seven year old gelding is shaping up very nicely.
“Signoff is pretty good, but he is still big in condition,” Weir said.
Signoff ran fourth behind Protectionist in the 2014 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday In November after winning the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington three days earlier.
The seven year old has been lightly raced since injuring a tendon in the Melbourne Cup and has only been to the races four times since, including when he was disqualified after behind first past the post in the 2015 Listed $120,000 Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on December 26.
Signoff had been treated with Ibuprofen to help with the recovery of a tendon injury suffered when fourth to Protectionist in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and it was subsequently discovered that the drug stays in the horse’s system longer that originally thought.
Signoff was then off the scene again for another eight weeks before running second to Swacadelic in the Listed $150,000 Sporting Chance Cancer Foundatio0n Torney Night Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on February 19.
Weir has also nominated in the in-form Ulmann for the Penny Edition Stakes, one of twenty-one horses making up the entries.
The former Peter Moody trained five year old has had two wins and a second from three starts for the Weir stable and will be chasing a hat trick of wins if Weir decides to line him up at Morphettville Parks on the weekend.
In early Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Signoff is listed at $17 alongside of 2015 Melbourne Cup runner up Max Dynamite while the Aidan O’Brien trained Order Of St George sits at the top of the market order at $11.