News & Events

Will the real Pure Power please stand up?

The potential return of the great Monkey King has lit a spark under the early pre-Cup hype. But there is more than one horse looking to come back from the brink in 2012/13.

2011/12 was Pure Power’s annus horribilis.

From eight starts the hulking Dave and Clare McGowan-trained gelding failed to win a race and endured a series of setbacks.  Looking back; his NZ Cup progress was tracking nicely but it all went wrong on Methven Cup Day, when a stress induced condition made him scour badly. He finished a disappointing 17th.

After the indignity of Methven and some sub-par runs a ligament tear in the groin (in human terms) kept the big horse off the track from December onwards. From that point though trainers Dave and Clare McGowan hardened their resolved and after a tireless eight months he’s back.

An impressive workout win at Cambridge last Saturday was enough for Dave McGowan to book the transporter and send Pure Power to Christchurch for an extended NZ Cup build-up.

Dave McGowan takes up the story. “Lots of things went wrong last season but while we were treating him we kept him in light work and after many months getting him right we had him up to trials speed. We then tipped him out for a break before this last prep.”

The big question for fans of the horse was could he get back to his best in light of his past problems? McGowan’s answer was emphatic, “yes”.

“He trialled awesome the other day (at Cambridge) and we’ve sent him south. I’ll be following him down and the plan at this stage, if he’s travelled alright, is to race at Addington next Friday.”

As an out of form 7-Win horse Pure Power is going to need some runs on the board to make the cut for this year’s NZ Cup but hopes are high. “Everything is tracking so much better this year. He’s matured; he’s taller and bigger all over. We’ve had to extend the cart spreader three inches. He now stands something like 17.3 hands.

“We don’t fear any horse around when he’s right but there’s always worries with him. He’s such a complex horse and surprisingly fragile for such a big, strong horse.”

Todd MacFarlane will continue is association with Pure Power this season, even if it’s not for every start. “Todd will come down when he can and definitely drive him in the big races. He’s got commitments at home so when he can’t make the likes of Blair Orange, Colin De Filippi or Ricky May will be able replacements.”

While campaigning in Canterbury Pure Power will be stabled with Brad Mowbray, McGowan’s nephew, at his Yaldhurst training establishment.

Pure Power resumes this year with a record of seven wins from 23 starts but he is possibly best remembered for his thumping win in the 2011 Rangiora Classic.