Trainer Darren Weir is expecting Puissance De Lune to strip a much fitter racehorse when he takes on a hot field in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The weight for age Underwood Stakes is shaping as a Cox Plate preview with Mark Kavanagh leaning to back up his super mare Atlantic Jewel in the Underwood after she took her undefeated winning sequence to nine with an effortless win in the Group 2 $220,000 Top Cut Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Also the line-up will include the Chris Waller trained Foreteller, who nabbed Puissance De Lune on the line in the Group 1 $350,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7, last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and David Hayes impressive import Jet Away.
Weir sent Pussiance De Lune back to Warrnambool after his Makybe Diva defeat where he has thrived and expects him to line up in the Underwood Stakes a much fitter horse.
“He is a bull and he will benefit greatly from the Makybe Diva run. He is in great order and is enjoying his time at Warrnambool. He loves Warrnambool, which is far more relaxed than my stables (in Ballarat),” Weir told the Herald Sun.
“You never change anything that works, and preparing for a race at Warrnambool works for him. He does a lot of pushing through the water at the beach and he’ll have a gallop during the week.”
Kavanagh will make a decision later in the week if he is going to send Atlantic Jewel around in the Underwood Stakes as she heads towards the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
“She could run in the Underwood but I’ll wait and see. I’m really excited now. Our goal is the Cox Plate and we need to look at how best to get her there in the best shape,” Kavanagh said.
Atlantic Jewel has won her two starts from a sixteen months break, the Group 1 $350,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31 and last weekend’s Stocks Stakes, and has maintained her tight grip on the Cox Plate market order.
Racing’s new Queen Of The Turf is a short priced $2.50 favourite with Kiwi galloper It’s A Dundeel at $8, Puisaance De Lune at $9 and last Saturday’s Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes winner Fiorente at $10.