Premiership winning trainer Darren Weir expects the field for the Listed $100,000 Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks on Saturday will be too slick for his Melbourne Cup hopeful Signoff.
Signoff will be having his first run since winning the Group 3 $120,000 James Boag’s Premium Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 5 and Weir said the seven year old will definitely need the run.
“He’s had a good prep but he’s still miles too big in condition,” Weir told The Advertiser.
“We just needed to get the preparation started off.
“We’ll just leave him alone and let him run home.
“He won’t be troubling them tomorrow.”
While Weir admits that Signoff is big in condition, he is looking forward to seeing him progress through his Spring Carnival campaign on his way to running in his second Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1.
“He’s in great shape but he needs to take the next step so we’ll see whether he does,” Weir said.
Signoff has had a chequered career since winning the 2014 Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington three days before running fourth to Protectionist in the Melbourne Cup.
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 being 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 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.
Jockey Harry Coffey has been aboard Signoff at his last three starts and is looking to secure the Melbourne Cup mount on the tough stayer.
Coffey will again team up with the gelding in the weight for age Penny Edition Stakes and Weir said that if he continues to ride well he would be able to keep the mount all the way through the Spring Carnival.
“He’ll stick with him if he continues to ride him well,” Weir said.
“That’s the plan. If you don’t ride them well, you’re replaced. It’s pretty simple.”
Coffey has been aboard Signoff in a lot of his lead up work and agrees with Weir that the rest of the field on Saturday will be too slick for him.
“I think they’ll probably go pretty quickly over there at Morphettville, especially on the Parks circuit,” Coffey said.
“So he’ll probably be left a little bit behind early but he’ll be very powerful late, as he always is. He’ll be steaming home.
“It’s very exciting to have him back and I’m rapt to be aboard.
“He’s come back well and he’s very happy.
“He’s a pretty casual fella in his track work but come race day he competes at his best.”
Signoff has drawn barrier four in the fourteen horse field plus one emergency and has been listed at $7.50 for the Penny Edition Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Signoff’s stablemate Ulmann from barrier five with John Allen in the saddle is at the top of the market order at $3.40 just ahead of the Phillip Stokes trained Runway Star (barrier three, Dom Tourneur) at $4.50.
Mighty Like from the Mick Price stable at $8.50 and local sprinter Riziz at $9 are the only other runners under double figures.
Market order for the Penny Edition Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Ulmann, $4.50 Runway Star, $7.50 Signoff, $8.50 Mighty Like, $9 Riziz, $10 Cavaloce, $11 Rocket Commander, $14 Daniela Rosa, $21 Decircles, $26 Excites Zelady, Gracious Prospect, $51 Jim’s Journey, Gamblin’ Guru, $81 Go Dreaming, Emmooki’s Dash.