Patrick Ryan is hopeful that veteran stayer Signoff will find his best form through a 2017 Autumn Carnival preparation which will be geared towards the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
Signoff began his racing career under the guidance of leading trainer Darren Weir in 2013 and has posted an impressive career record of eight wins and four minors through twenty starts; highlighted by a big performance for fourth in the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Cup.
Having suffered a suspensory ligament injury in the early stages of the 2016 Spring Carnival which subsequently ruled him out of another Melbourne Cup appearance, the Authorized gelding was transferred to the care of Ryan for what could potentially be his final racing preparation.
“He’s back at a full gallop and looking good, he’s trimmed up a lot, but you always worry if it will be his last,” Ryan told Racing Victoria.
“He’s shown in the past that he thrives when travelling so I’m confident he’ll cope with the trip,” Ryan said.
“He’s rated 106 so it is kind of dictating that we have to head to these kind of black type races.
“He just loves a wet track, he’s loving working in the wet sand since arriving, so it looks like we will be chasing heavy tracks for him.”
Signoff returned to the track in 2015 to finish mid-pack in the Ross Stevenson Trophy (1600m), but was largely kept away from competition as a result of a few minor ailments and with a view towards 2016.
Running on for an impressive second behind Swacadelic in the Listed Torney Cup (2500m) in February 19th last year, Signoff returned to winning form in the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) but was scratched from the field of the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m); his major autumn target in the hours leading up to jump.
Unable to make anything of an impact when eleventh in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) upon resuming on August 20th, Signoff returned to the paddock after his ill-fated run in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) most recently.