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Signoff’s Adelaide Cup campaign in limbo

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An Adelaide Cup campaign for Darren Weir’s quality stayer Signoff is in limbo thanks to the ongoing saga surrounding the painkilling drug ibuprofen.

An Adelaide Cup campaign is in doubt for the Darren Weir trained Signoff, above. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

An Adelaide Cup campaign is in doubt for the Darren Weir trained Signoff, above. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Signoff 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 trainer Darren 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 scratched 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 has had several more tests taken from Signoff that have comeback negative to ibuprofen but the Melbourne Cup winning trainer has to be cautious and another run at Flemington this Saturday had to be aborted.

“We’ve done everything we possibly could,’’ Weir told the Herald Sun.

“His last test was negative, but that wasn’t after any ­exercise.”

“If you run it, the same ­situation could happen, so I guess I just have to wait.”

“They said the result would not be through until tomorrow and if it did come back negative, it would be up to you whether to run.”

Weir had mapped out a plan to head to Adelaide for the Group 2 $400,000 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 14, but with the stayer already missing two crucial lead up runs, a run in the ‘two miler’ is looking doubtful.

“It’s going to be hard,” Weir said.

“I don’t know what to do. It’s frustrating for the owners because you just don’t know when you can go to the races.”

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.

A successful comeback during the Autumn Carnival could see Weir endeavour on another Melbourne Cup campaign with Signoff.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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