Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir is sweating on blood test results for Signoff to give him the all clear to take his place in the $90,000 Robert Hunter Handicap (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The 2014 Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter resumed from a lengthy injury enforced spell to score a first up win in the Listed $120,000 Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day but subsequently returned an irregularity to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen.
Signoff had been treated with 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 is hoping have Signoff fit enough to run in the Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 14 and needs the six year old to run on Saturday to be ready to run out the two miles in Adelaide.
Signoff was tested again after he galloped on Tuesday and Weir is hoping a negative result for ibuprofen comes back before the weekend.
“We galloped him again on Tuesday and took another one (blood test) and hopefully we get that result tomorrow (Friday),” Weir told AAP.
“We’ll just keep testing him to see what happens.”
Signoff was racing in the best form of his career during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington that secured him a place in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington three days later.
Signoff ran a mighty race on the First Tuesday in November and made up plenty of ground in the straight to run fourth to the German stayer Protectionist.
Signoff is on the third line of betting at $5 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Robert Hunter Handicap behind Second Bullet at $3.20 and the Chris Waller trained Danjeu at $4.80,
Robert Hunter Handicap market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Second Bullet, $4.80 Danjeu, $5 Signoff, $7.50 Lucques, $9 Vilanova, Black Jag, $19 All I Survey, $26 Ring Da Belle, $31 Purple Smile, Use The Lot.