Sky’s the limit for Puissance De Lune progeny

Australia's quest to compete with the internationals and regain the Caulfield Cup from Japanese hands next spring could hinge on the success of Victorian stallion Puissance De Lune.

The Swettenham Stud stallion has had a spring carnival to remember, with Heart Of Puissance's group 2 placing on Saturday adding to the successes of Southern Moon and Moonlight Maid in Cup week.

Promising stallion Puissance De Lune.Credit:Pat Scala

Southern Moon and Moonlight Maid, both trained by Mitch Freedman, placed in the Derby and Oaks respectively, before the Ciaron Maher and David Eustance-trained colt ran third in the Sandown Guineas.

"To have a placing in the Oaks, a placing in the Derby and now a placing in the Sandown Guineas, it's enormous. A bit of luck, and all three of them could have just about won them," Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster said.

"[He's been] enormous off a relatively small number of runners so far, and his stats show he’s going to be an absolute champion.”

Puissance De Lune, despite never winning a group 1, had stellar career on the racetrack for Darren Weir.

The grey son of Shamardal burst onto the scene by winning the 2012 Ballarat Cup by eight lengths in track-record time before claiming the Queen Elizabeth by five, stamping himself as the early 2013 Melbourne Cup favourite.

He didn't get to the 3200-metre race after suffering a tendon injury in the 2013 Cox Plate, but he placed five times at the elite level from 1400 to 2000 metres.

"He was more of a middle-distance horse that could stay," Sangster said.

"You need to have that turn of foot to compete with these internationals, so a son of Shamardal definitely gives him an opportunity to have some really good milers and stretch out to a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half."

Victoria Derby placegetter Southern Moon, pictured with Mitch Freedman who also trains Moonlight Maid.Credit:Justin McManus

Just 40 mares were served by Puissance De Lune last year, who stands for just $8000, but a near-full book of 140-150 mares will visit Swettenham this year.

Meanwhile, Shamus Award – who won that 2013 Cox Plate – is starting to highlight himself as an Aussie stallion also capable of producing contenders for the three-year-old classics.

Soul Patch won the group 2 Moonee Valley Vase before placing third in the Derby and shapes as a spitting image of his father, who went onto win an Australian Guineas in the autumn.

Shamus Award – who has also sired group 1 winner Mr Quickie – now stands at Rosemont Stud near Geelong, his fertility unaffected by the loss of a testicle.

"The day [Soul Patch] ran second at Sandown, came from last and rattled home and was in everyone's black book, Ken Keys rang and that afternoon on the way home from Sandown he booked in the mother of Rich Enuff to go to Shamus Award," Rosemont Stud principal Anthony Mithen said.

"She’s obviously the best mare he's got and he thought, 'I've got a pretty good Shamus Award and at $10,000 down at Rosemont, we'll keep it local and get that done'."

But Mithen believed Shamus Award was more likely to throw a star miler than a star stayer.

"Puissance De Lune is really going to give you that aerobic stayer, whereas I think Shamus Award will probably give you that mile horse up to 2000 metres, maybe stretch to a mile and a half but that’s about where they’ll be," Mithen said.

"We're excited. I'm looking forward to a few years' time, we're sending some really nice mares to him so I'm looking forward to having them in our system running for us or being sold through the sales."

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