Puntura will head to Trentham on Saturday to help ready him for a trip south to Riccarton later this month to tackle the Gr.3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m).
The six-year-old gelding finished runner-up when first-up at Te Rapa last month and trainer Robbie Patterson believes he has taken a lot of improvement from the run ahead of the Courtesy Ford Redcraze Bowl (1400m) this weekend.
“He has done really well since Te Rapa. He needed the run that day, so he should strip a lot fitter. He is a happy horse,” Patterson said.
The Group Three performer has been lumbered with 60kg on Saturday but will get some weight relief with Lemmy Douglas aboard.
“Stable apprentice Lemmy Douglas has got a three-kilogram claim, and he knows the horse well,” Patterson said.
“There are a few winter gallopers there and it might be a bit better track for them, but you have got a horse in there like Belclare, a Group One horse, and on her day she can compete with anything. It won’t be easy.”
Puntura was runner-up in the Gr.3 J Swap Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa last December before running fourth in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at the Hamilton track on New Year’s Day, and Patterson is hopeful he can strike a similar vein of form over New Zealand Cup week in a fortnight.
“We will get through tomorrow hopefully safe and sound and we will wander down to Christchurch. This should top him off nicely for a mile,” Patterson said.
“He deserves a bit of luck on his side and hopefully it is in one of these good races.”
Patterson is also excited about the prospects of One Bold Cat in the Mode Technology Feilding Gold Cup (2100m) on Saturday.
“I am very happy with him, both runs in have been super,” Patterson said. “He has got back in both of them and run the quickest sectionals in the whole day.
“Getting up to 2100m is a nice trip for him, he will hopefully relax midfield and come into it at the right time. He just needs a bit of luck on his side and he will be very competitive.”
Patterson will also be represented by a handful of other chances at Trentham, but he is particularly upbeat about the chances of Tanzanite Rose in the Manawatu ITM 1200, and Winkle Bay and Our Jumala in the Stock Lines Transport 1600.
“Tanzanite Rose trialled up really well the other day. If she is left alone for her last sprint, she can really fly. There is a lot of pace on tomorrow, so I am hopeful she will go well,” he said.
“Winkle Bay is a bit of an enigma but on her day she can be competitive. I really like Our Jumala in the same race. She went a really good race at Te Rapa the other day and any sting out of the track won’t worry her. She is rock hard fit and ready to go.”