Dual New Zealand Group One winner Danzdanzdance has confirmed a trip to Australia to take on Winx with a solid race day gallop at Ellerslie.
Trainer Chris Gibbs opted to give the mare the gallop rather than a barrier trial during the week because of the firm track at Avondale.
“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 told NZ Racing Desk.
“I thought that would be over 1200 metres 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.
Ridden by Opie Bosson, Danzdanzdance was kept to three-quarter pace from the 1400m before being asked to quicken over the final 1000m of her work.
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.
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“We wanted her to build steadily into the last 600 metres and when Opie gave her a little squeeze at the 1000 she really got going.
“I think they said she covered the 1000 metres in a tick over 58 seconds with the last 600 in 34.5 which was probably as good as some of the races on the day.”
Danzdanzdance is scheduled to run in the Group One Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 23 and, all going well, will run in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes against Winx.
“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.”
Danzdanzdance ran fifth and sixth respectively in last year’s Vinery Stud Stakes and Australian Oaks on good tracks.
Late last year she won the Group One Captain Cook (1600m) and Zabeel Classic (2000m), both on wet surfaces.