A sparkling exhibition gallop by Danzdanzdance at Ellerslie on Saturday has confirmed trainer Chris Gibbs’ thoughts that he has his stable star right where he wants her as she prepares to tackle the cream of Australian racing later this month.
Gibbs, who prepares the Mastercraftsman four-year-old with co-trainer Michelle Bradley, had originally planned to send the mare around at the Avondale trials during the week but changed tack to the Ellerslie gallop after he feared the Avondale surface might be too firm for her liking.
“She had progressed nicely since her last run at Te Rapa and we were keen to test her a little more before she gets on the plane to Sydney,” Gibbs said.
“I thought that would be over 1200m at the Avondale trials but with the dry weather we’ve had we were worried the track might be a little firm, so we changed to having the gallop at Ellerslie.
“As it turned out they cancelled the 1200m trial she would have gone in, so it was a good move to go to Ellerslie and we were delighted with what we saw.”
Ridden by regular pilot Opie Bosson, Danzdanzdance was kept to three-quarter pace from the 1400m before being asked to quicken over the final 1000m of her work. The dual Group One winner relished the opportunity as she powered through the line and well into the back straight before being pulled up.
“I thought her work was quite sensational actually,” Gibbs said.
“We wanted her to build steadily into the last 600m and when Opie gave her a little squeeze at the 1000m she really got going.
“I think they said she covered the 1000m in a tick over 58 seconds with the last 600m in 34.5 which was probably as good as some of the races on the day.
“She had a nice little puff pulling up, but got over that quickly, so I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Danzdanzdance will commence her Australian campaign in the Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 23 with Gibbs confident she will be at peak for the task.
“I think with the gallop and the flight over to Sydney she will be spot on for the Ranvet,” he said.
“We had to be mindful of the effect of the travel as when she went there as a three-year-old it took her a few days to come right, although this time she is going there on the way up whereas last time it was more towards the end of her campaign.
“We’re looking forward to the task we have set her, so all we need now is for a few things to go our way.
“A little bit of rain would be nice as we know how well she goes when there is some cut in the track, but if we don’t get it, she will still be ready to go a top race.” – NZ Racing Desk