TWELVE months of hard work and planning are on the line when Puissance De Lune runs in the $3 million Cox Plate at Moonee Valley today.
Puissance De Lune, which has been a familiar sight at Warrnambool’s Lady Bay beach and the sand dunes over the past year, is attempting to win his first group 1 race in Australia for Ballarat trainer Darren Weir, who has stables in Warrnambool.
Weir passed the training duties of the six-year-old stallion to his Warrnambool foreman, former Russells Creek footballer Mitch Freedman.
The quietly spoken Freedman has done an excellent job trying to keep Puissance De Lune under the radar.
Weir heaped praise on Freedman in the lead-up to today’s Cox Plate.
“Mitch has done a wonderful job with the horse, so have the rest of my Warrnambool staff,” he said.
“I’ve left a lot of the work with Puissance De Lune to Mitch. He only phones if we’ve got a problem and we have not had many of those.
“We can’t get the horse any fitter. He’s ready to run the race of his life.
“We had the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup as his two aims.
“The Cox Plate is here now. We’ll give it our best shot.”
Freedman said Puissance De Lune had ticked over well since his gallop over 800 metres at Warrnambool’s racecourse on Tuesday morning.
“We’ve just had him down the beach and at the dunes for the last few days,” Freedman said.
“The rain in Melbourne over the past few days should help our chances because there will be a bit of give in the track, which we’ll appreciate.”
The Cox Plate, which is acknowledged as the weight-for-age championship in Australia, will be run at 5.40pm.