1:51 miler Pure Power will arrive back in New Zealand tomorrow (Tuesday), 17 months after joining Nicole Molander’s New South Wales barn.
The 2012 New Zealand Free-For All runner-up will now be spelled and then brought back for the New Zealand Cup and lead-up races at Addington Raceway in the spring.
But to do that he will first have to overcome a muscle-tear which he copped when finishing seventh in the Society 389 Free-For-All at Tabcorp Park Menangle on May 10.
It was Pure Power’s first run back since February and Molander said it was unfortunate because he had been trialling well prior to the injury.
Original co-trainer, Dave McGowan said the horse now needed the expertise of his wife Clare – a renowned equine physiotherapist, and also co-owner and trainer of the rising 8-year-old.
“It sounds like an injury which Clare could treat,’’ McGowan said.
“He’s pulled a muscle in his rump so we will get him home and get Clare to manipulate him – and then we will put him out for while.
“It’s good timing because Clare gets home from England this week.’’
Both McGowan and Molander believed Pure Power’s 23-race stint in Australia had been a success.
He won four of those starts and placed four more times for $177,035 in stakes.
The bay won in 1:51 and placed in 1:50.6 and also won the Group Three $40,000 Ilsley Cup at Menangle on May 25 last year.
He also ran third behind Baby Bling in the 2013 Miracle Mile.
“It will be great to have him back, Nicole, who is like a daughter to me, has done a wonderful job with him.
“He will probably end up with Nicole and Dean next year but for now it’s all about diagnosing his injury and then treating it.
“If he does come back okay he can only really race at Addington because he can’t go the right-handed way around.
“We would probably send him down to the beach for the lead-up races to the Cup.
“There’s nothing for him at Cambridge, so that’s his only New Zealand option really.’’
Pure Power won on debut (with Tony Herlihy (MNZM) in the bike) at Cambridge Raceway back on July 1 2010.
The Grinfromeartoear gelding has had 31 starts in New Zealand, winning nine of them and placing four times.
His biggest win came on May 8, 2011 when he won the Group Three $50,000 Rangiora Classic.
His last start in this country, on November 16, 2002, saw him run second behind Gold Ace in the New Zealand Free-For-All.
His career stats now read 54 starts, 13 wins, six seconds, two thirds and $301, 202 in purses.
“It’s a shame he can’t be treated in Australia, a vet can only do so much but physiotherapists can actually treat and cure the problem.
“Personally I don’t think there are not enough equine physiotherapists in harness racing – and to me that is a shame.
“It’s weird because every sports athlete or team has one.
“I’m just so grateful for the skills that Clare has, I have learnt so much from her.
“Without her skills there was no way in the world Be Seein Ya would have won at Alexandra Park last week.
“She was a cripple until Clare worked on her.’’
By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)