Early Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune had resumed with a dead-heat victory in Saturday’s Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
The Darren Weir-trained French import and South Australian trained gelding Budriguez couldn’t be split at the end of the Group 2 event.
“He’s come back looking identical to what he left. He just backed up what I thought he could do, he wasn’t expected to do that well first up,” jockey Glen Boss said.
Still three lengths off Budriguez at the 300m, once into clear galloping room, Puissance De Lune charged at the leader and probably hit the front in the shadows of the post only for Budriguez to get his nose down on the line and snatch a dead-heat.
“I got slightly held up behind a couple of horses that were going slow when I wanted to go quicker, but once he got into the clear he ripped home and made up three or four lengths very quickly,” Boss said.
Speaking straight after the race, Weir said he wasn’t sure when the grey gelding will have his next start.
But owner Gerry Ryan is reluctant to run Puissance De Lune again this autumn.
“The whole thing is the weight,” Ryan said.
“It depends on the weight. We don’t want to head to the Melbourne Cup with too much weight.
“If we have to put him away after today, we put him away. Avoid the weight penalties.”
However Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said Puissance De Lune’s dead heat would not necessarily add any more weight to the former French galloper’s Cup weight.
Carpenter said Puissance De Lune would receive 53.5kg or 54kg in the Melbourne Cup, a weight that would see him gain a start in the Cup.
By Owens Wong