Horses To Follow » Dancourt


Dancourt was the one to take out of the nine-furlong three-year-old handicap at Sandown on Saturday for me. Nicely positioned just behind the pace in the early stages of the race, he took it up going well fully two and a half furlongs out. He quickened nicely to go a length and a half clear at that point, but he immediately seemed to think that he had done enough, put his head in the air and moved to his right towards the rail. That allowed eventual winner Clerk’s Choice come up on his outside and take it up. Once passed, Dancourt did run on after the leader, but he didn’t seem to want to go past him again. This was a good race for the class, a truly-run race. It was the fastest-run race of the day, the only one that dipped below Racing Post standard.

Dancourt was having just the fifth run of his life. It could be that he is still learning about the game, it could be that he doesn’t like being in front for too long. It was the first time that Louis-Philippe Beuzelin rode him – Ryan Moore was busy riding a double at York – and you have to think that if the 5lb claimer had it to do again, he would hold on to his horse for longer. Dancourt was noticeably weak in the market before the race, as he had been before his previous race at Lingfield when he was just beaten, so he obviously surprised some people with how well he ran. A full-brother to Group 2 winner Stage Gift, he is still a maiden, but even his new rating of 77 could seriously under-estimate his ability. He is worth chancing again, with Moore back on board, over nine or 10 furlongs next time. He may prove to be frustrating, he may have his own ideas about the game, but he is worth another chance, now that they have probably figured out how to ride him. He obviously has plenty of ability.

13th June 2009