Puissance De Lune takes the first step towards his Melbourne Cup destiny at Caulfield on Saturday when he kicks off his campaign in the P B Lawrence Stakes.
The Group Two weight-for-age contest is the starting point for the highly-rated import who has been the Melbourne Cup favourite since he won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes just days after the 2012 Cup.
The Darren Weir-trained grey was among the 12 nominations for the Lawrence (1400m) on Monday, but entries have been extended until Tuesday.
Puissance De Lune, who hasn’t raced since his dead-heat win in the Group Two Blamey Stakes in March, is expected to be kept to a weight-for-age program leading up to the Melbourne Cup.
He had a jump-out on a waterlogged Ballarat track on Saturday, delighting jockey Glen Boss who has been glowing in his praise for the galloper since last year’s spring carnival.
After riding him in the jump-out Boss declared the entire in great shape and “the only horse” he would want to be on at this stage heading towards the Melbourne Cup.
“I couldn’t be happier with him,” Boss said.
“He’s put on a lot of condition, maybe forty to fifty kilos. He’s a big, healthy horse and just looks full of energy.
“He trialled up really well.”
Weir is also pleased with the way Puissance De Lune is coming along in his preparations for the spring.
With a rating of 109, he is the highest-ranked horse in the Lawrence nominations.
“I think the horse looks great,” Weir said.
He said it was hard to get a real guide on the jump-out because it was on a very heavy track and he wasn’t asked to do a lot.
“I’m guided by him (Boss), he’s a great judge and he felt the horse was in good order,” the trainer said.
Puissance De Lune’s opposition in the Lawrence Stakes is likely to include last year’s winner Second Effort who excels on rain-affected ground and is coming off a win in the Bletchingly Stakes.
Gai Waterhouse has nominated Under The Sun while premier Melbourne trainer Peter Moody has three nominations including import Kesampour.
A Group Two winner in France when trained by Mikel Delzangles, Kesampour hasn’t started since finishing 13th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last October.