Favourite Puissance De Lune Ruled Out of Melbourne Cup
Second acceptances for the AU$6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup today will not feature favourite Puissance De Lune after the former French galloper pulled up lame after finishing twelfth to upset hero Shamus Award in the Group 1 Cox Plate at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday.
A stud career will await the classy colt if vet reports prompt renowned owner Gerry Ryan to retire Puissance De Lune from racing.
“He will have scans tomorrow at Ballarat after he pulled up lame after the Cox Plate” a notably disappointed Ryan told Australia’s Herald Sun yesterday.
“He will not run in the Melbourne Cup, if he ever runs again. But there is always a stud career.
“That’s racing. You move on. I am just really fortunate that a Bendigo Cup winner has gone on to do so well and give me a lot of thrills”.
Puissance De Lune had been the long-time favourite for the Melbourne Cup since whispers regarding possible runners began to circulate, and was still well and truly in the mix before finishing at the tail of the Cox Plate field on Saturday.
The classy six-year-old jumped as second favourite at 11/2 at Paddy Power for the Cox Plate behind New Zealand hopeful It’s A Dundeel (4/1), but after finding good position into the home straight was easily swallowed up by the pack to beat only two runners to the line.
In inspection post-race, it was found Puissance De Lune was lame in the fore-leg and his Melbourne Cup campaign was all but over.
Leading trainer Darren Weir was clearly disappointed after the Cox Plate and anxiously awaits the vet’s report.
“We’ll have everything tested and get the results tomorrow” Weir said after learning the news of his leading hope.
Upon the news, Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente is now the clear 5/1 Melbourne Cup favourite at Paddy Power following a strong third in the Cox Plate.
English hopefuls Dandino (8/1) and Mount Athos (10/1) are still well and truly in the mix, with the Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur awarded healthy odds of 12/1.