Puissance De Lune has class to eclipse rivals

Great expectations: Cup hope Puissance De Lune with Mitch Freedman. Photo: Aaron SawallThe essence behind the prospects of Puissance De Lune in Saturday’s $220,000 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400 metres) at Caulfield is class requires speed.
Nanjing Night Net

Puissance De Lune is the early Melbourne Cup favourite and the Lawrence, once the Liston Stakes, has not been a happy foundation ground for old-time two-milers; none has completed the double and few even started in it.

But the former French stayer, energised to new heights since arriving at Darren Weir’s yard, is being mentioned for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, hardly a race for one-paced stayers. Puissance De Lune has brilliance, as yet untapped under 1600m. Still, circumstances can play a role.

Look at Bayrir, a group 1 winner in the US and cups contender, which resumed at Rosehill recently and was downed by Coup Ay Tee. ”Undoubtedly a superior beast but simply outsprinted,” The Sun-Herald’s Tony Brassel wrote.

Alas, bookmakers don’t seem keen to gamble against Puissance De Lune – at reasonable odds, anyway – although six out of the 11 in the Racenet poll of leading betting houses made him their lay.

”Can’t believe the bookies have him so short,” Betfair’s Daniel Bevan said, but added exchange punters had laid him around $3, which is hardly a savage difference.

”Well backed in the Melbourne Cup,” Michael Sullivan (Sportingbet) said. ”With that in mind, I can’t see them busting a gut to win first-up.”

”First up over 1400m in what is likely to be a slowly run race suggests he will be settling at the back from barrier nine,” Alan Eskander (Betstar) said.

But will the sprint lack tempo? Ajeeb, trained by Mick Price, is a leader and will be watched by rivals. ”Hopefully we can catch them with their pants down,” Price said.

Second Effort, last year’s winner, and Launay should get the run of the race with Under the Sun, victim of poor navigation at Rosehill last start, likely to pour on early pressure.

They have superior fitness, but the quality to handle Puissance De Lune? Sure, his only real sprint was over 1600m, a dead-heat in the Blamey, but he came out of it with bone chips, subsequently removed.

No doubt bookmakers are capitalising on his boom, established over longer journeys, with such a short price but should it stop you from backing him?

Verdict: Puissance De Lune ($2.35).FORM RUNNER

Coup Ay Tee, a member of the Chris Waller team, is hardly taking on a Bayrir in the Spring Preview (second) at Rosehill in which the stablemate menace again rears its ugly head. Waller has four opposing Coup Ay Tee, which has Nash Rawiller in the saddle. Jason Collett handled him with dash and daring to score last start but he goes on to Studio for the trainer. With the exception of Havana Rey, pace is a query but Coup Ay Tee showed he can be effective off a dawdle when downing Bayrir, also prepared by Waller. Havana Rey may need another race to be prime but still looks the hardest for Waller to beat.

Verdict: Coup Ay Tee ($2.50).BACKMARKER

The highly promising Catkins and Velrosso are the Waller conundrum in the fifth. Scratched from the corresponding Caulfield meeting, Catkins is weighted to advantage with Yusuke Ichikawa’s three-kilo claim. Resuming, she can be handy to the lead, while Velrosso gets back. Catkins has the quality edge; Velrosso, fitness, winning form and Jim Cassidy. ”Slots into a perfect spot from an inside draw,” Glenn Munsie (TAB) said about Catkins. ”Undefeated first-up and trialled OK recently.” Waller has Altius, an eye-catcher first-up, with Rawiller atop, against them.

Verdict: Velrosso ($2.60).SLIPPER POINTER

Class against condition is again the query concerning Sidestep and Windjammer in the San Domenico. Regarding Sidestep, trainer Peter Snowden said: ”He had three runs in three weeks and for a two-year-old so early in his preparation it tells you he’s above average.” Sidestep is having his first start since his second in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill in April, while Windjammer, looking short of his best, scored first-up at Rosehill on August 3. But Hugh Bowman sacked Windjammer for Cluster, a maiden, which has done wonders for Windjammer’s price.

Verdict: Sidestep ($3).

PLAY THE EXOTICS

Rosehill parlay:  Race 1 — (8) Happy Clapper, Race 4 — (1) Burbero, Race 5 — (8) Velrosso, Race 8 — (2) Travolta.Quadrella: Race 5 — (2) Catkins, (8) Velrosso, Race 6 — (1) Sidestep, (7) Windjammer, Race 7 — (2) Total Attraction, (11) Fast And Sexy, Race 8 — (2) Travolta, (5) Less Is More, (8) Marden.Caulfield parlay:  Race 1 — (8) Text’n Hurley, Race 3 — (2) Sea Galleon, Race4 — (2) Fast ’N’ Rocking, Race 6 — (4) Puissance De Lune.Quadrella:  Race 5 — (1) Scandiva, (8) Spirit Of Heaven, Race 6 — (4) Puissance De Lune, Race 7 — (4) That’s The One, (5) Serene Star, (7) Amah Rock, Race 8 — (5) You’re So Good, (11) A Time For Julia.

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