WARRNAMBOOL-based galloper Puissance De Lune re-affirmed his Melbourne Cup favouritism with a slashing finish to dead-heat in the group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
In a thrilling finish to the $220,000 race on Saturday, the Darren Weir-trained Puissance De Lune flew late after being held up early in the straight and was locked together with Budriguez on the line.
Regardless of the result, three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss and Weir got what they wanted from Puissance De Lune’s return.
Boss declared the stayer a future Melbourne Cup winner last spring and wasn’t backing down from his comments.
“How could you possibly,” Boss said after the impressive run.
“That’s the least of the distances that he’ll be competitive at.
“Just wait until he gets over a trip.”
Starting favourite, Puissance De Lune settled midfield on the fence in running with in-form jockey Craig Williams in the lead on Budriguez ($12).
Boss got caught behind a couple of horses which didn’t take him into the race early in the straight before he was able to get his horse into the clear.
Budriguez, in the meantime, had kicked strongly and looked like holding the grey at bay in an upset.
But Puissance De Lune’s late charge meant connections shared the spoils.
“You could just see the true quality this horse has got because when he got out in the clear he really whipped home,” Boss said.
“He made up three lengths very very quickly and as I went past the line I was a length in front of that horse two strides after the post.”
Weir, who has the stayer based at his Warrnambool stables, said he would sit down with owner Gerry Ryan next week to discuss the horse’s options.
“It would have been great to win but that’s as good as winning,” Weir said.
Also at Flemington, Warrnambool mare Spirit Song ran a gutsy second in the $150,000 Schweppervescence Stakes over 1600 metres.
Spirit Song finished a long neck behind Bonaria in the group 3 race with Hi Belle a nose away in third place.
Jockey Craig Williams gave a glowing report to trainer Aaron Purcell and Spirit Song’s owners.
“She ran a great race,” he said.
“The winner had a big weight advantage and a better acceleration.
“My horse was strong late in the race.
“We were boxed in during one stage of the race which probably never helped our chances.”
Purcell said he would push ahead with plans to run Spirit Song in the $220,000 group 2 Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 22.
“She had to give Bonaria four-and-a-half kilograms on Saturday,” Purcell said.
“We’ll meet her on level weights in the Sunline Stakes.
“We’ve had two runs from a spell and both of those runs have been excellent.
“It would be great if she could win another Sunline Stakes.
“The group 2 race would add extra value to her as a broodmare.”
Spirit Song took her stakemoney to in excess of $570,000 with her second placing on Saturday.With AAP