Stan Elley was very pleased with Punta Arenas’ July gallop on Thursday, 26 June and despite firm support for the 3yo’s in the 2014 Vodacom Durban July, both Garth Puller and Muis Roberts included the game son of Silvano in their top 4.
Stan told us “He had a nice gallop this morning and we didn’t ask too much of him. He did a half pace from the 1400m, a three-quarter pace from the 800m marker and then from the top of the straight we let him stride along and really stretch. In the run up to last year’s July, we took a roundabout route to try and protect him from the weights, but after finishing less than 2 lengths off them in the Met from a 13 draw, we decided to just go for it this year.”
How has the prep gone?
“He ran a very good 5th in the Drill Hall, and 13 days later he finished just over 2 lengths 2nd in the Greyville 1900. After that the programme got a bit tricky. He’d had 2 runs 13 days apart and we didn’t want to let him do nothing between then and the July, so he had a run in the Conditions race, and I thought he did pretty well. It was a 1450 which isn’t really his trip and he was doing his best work late. We’ve engaged Stuart Randolph mainly because I wanted a jockey that would stay with him for the season. None of the big names could commit, Aldo is engaged to the Plattner yard and Stuart fit the bill. He’s a good rider in his own right, he was available and he goes back a long way with Mike and James, so we’re all very happy with the choice.”
Punta Arenas never seems to have much luck with the draw
“Last year we drew 17 and I said, ‘well, at least we can’t do any worse than that’ and then we went and drew 16! However, it’s a smaller, narrower field this year with a far narrower spur at the top, so that might change things considerably. He’s as honest as the day is long and he absolutely thrives in Durban, plus he seems to love Greyville. He has run twice at Clairwood, and I wouldn’t say they were bad runs, but he finished below where I think he should have. We’re confident that he does his best at Greyville.”
Can you tell us a little about Dynastic Power and your thoughts on Saturday’s Winter Derby?
“Because of Red Badge, I’ve looked at all of Crimson Lily’s progeny since and Dynastic Power was the first one I’ve liked. I saw him and knew I just had to have him. It was a bit of a struggle to put him together, but we got there in the end. Both Red Badge and his other half-brother, Ravishing excelled over the Derby trip, so we’ve kind of been waiting for this race, because we think he’ll be at his best over this distance. We are very, very pleased with how he’s going. Aldo’s been down and he’s been delighted with his work. We’re drawn 4 which is just about ideal, I just hope we don’t have too much more rain as I don’t think anybody wants a mud bath – we just want a level playing field. It will obviously be great to see Power King trying to equal Pocket Power’s record, but we’ll be out there doing our best!”