Talented stayer Signoff will continue on the path towards the 2016 Adelaide Cup when he contests the Piping Lane Handicap at Flemington on Saturday.
Signoff stamped himself as one of the most talented stayers in Australia when he finished a gallant fourth behind Protectionist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in 2014, but an injury kept him out of the 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival and he was sent for a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock following his eighth place finish in the Ross Stevenson Trophy (1600m) at Flemington on April 11 last year.
The Authorized gelding failed to recover from the leg injury in time to race during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he instead returned to the races in the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Signoff went into the Lord Stakes as a $30 outsider and he was still second last at the 200 metre mark, but he came from absolutely nowhere down the outside of the field to record a most impressive victory.
Trainer Darren Weir told Sky Racing HQ that Signoff took plenty of benefit from his first-up win at the Lord Stakes and he confirmed that the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 14 is the major autumn goal for the five-year-old.
“Signoff will run,” Weir said.
“He has does well since his first-up run and we just need to get the runs into him heading towards the Adelaide Cup.”
The 2016 Piping Lane Handicap field was released this morning and Signoff is set to face 11 rivals in the $90,000 event that will be held at Flemington on Saturday.
Metaphorical, Star Rolling and Inspector were all swooped by Signoff in the Lord Stakes, but will have the chance to turn-the-tables on their rival, while Second Bullet will also take winning form into the Piping Lane Handicap following his impressive victory at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2016 Piping Lane Handicap field is Signoff’s stablemate Sabor A Triunfo, who has performed well without winning in his two race starts since being transferred from Team Snowden to the Weir Stable.
Sabor A Triunfo made her debut for her new stable with a second place finish in the Metricon Trophy (1700m) at Flemington on December 12 and she was not disgraced when fourth in the Allan Wicks Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Faust, Oregon Spirit, Golden Mane, Allergic, Warrior King and Rebel Rising round out the 2016 Piping Lane Handicap field.