Irish-bred entire Puissance De Lune (Shamardal – Princess Serena, by Unbridled’s Song) showed it was merely a matter of time before he became another Group 1 winner for Darley stallion Shamardal with his wonderful first-up win in Saturday’s Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Shamardal no longer shuttles to Australia after completing the last of his five seasons in 2010 but Puissance De Lune continued to show the sire’s capabilities with his Lawrence Stakes win, which was his fourth straight stakes victory and second at Group 2 level after dead-heating in the Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in March.
Vets removed bone chips from Puissance De Lune’s knees after his sole autumn run but an unseasonal good track stood in front of the six-year-old in his first run for five months. The grey’s trainer Darren Weir walked the track before confirming Puissance De Lune as a starter just hours before the $220,000 contest.
An adhesive Glen Boss has not been far from Puissance De Lune through his build-up to his first-up run, even travelling to Ballarat to ride him in a jumpout on the Saturday morning to the Lawrence Stakes, leaving nothing to chance in his chase for a fourth Melbourne Cup crown after winning three with the champion mare Makybe Diva.
Boss was content to let Puissance De Lune settle at the back of the field but a light slap on the shoulder was enough for the grey to improve quickly to be close enough to the leaders at the top of the straight. The jockey did more steering than coercing in the final 200 metres as Puissance De Lune rolled home over the top of the front runner Ajeeb (Al Maher – Destiny, by Bureaucracy) to win easily.
There were no Group 1 winners in the 2013 edition of the Lawrence Stakes but a jubilant Boss was keen to hand out the accolades to the budding star.
“Besides that mare (Makybe Diva) and So You Think, this horse is right up there with the best horses I’ve ever ridden,” Boss declared. “He’s a genuine superstar.”
“These are fit racehorses who are very capable of running quick sectionals, but he passed them with ridiculous ease. Over the last 100m he got tired and he’s had a huge blow.”
Puissance De Lune’s trainer Darren Weir was his usual circumspect self after the Lawrence Stakes with the country horseman keen to get his prized galloper back to the peace of his Warrnambool satellite stable before making any decisions on his immediate future.
“I’m just glad to get over today,” Weir said. “I just want to see how he pulls up tomorrow, but you would think the ease of it and the way he did it he should go home and have a wade at the beach tomorrow be a really well horse.”
An ownership group, led by prominent Victorian owner Gerry Ryan, who is the part-owner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, sourced Puissance De Lune out of France in 2011 for an undisclosed sum.
Puissance De Lune has returned more than $590,000 to his owners in his 10 Australian starts with the promise of millions more to be earned in races such as the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup if he continues to improve and become the 11th Group 1 winner for Shamardal.