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Strictly Dancing

Strictly Dancing put up a useful performance to finish second behind the regally-bred odds-on shot Safina in a seven-furlong maiden at Chester on Friday. Awkwardly away and out to her right from stall nine of nine runners, the last thing you want to do from stall nine of nine runners on a tight left-handed track, she showed some pace over the first two furlongs to get into a position at the back of the main group by the time they hit the first bend. She raced freely after that, however, having been rushed up, she didn’t corner well, she wanted to go faster, and she was four lengths behind the leader turning for home. She also had to switch to the near side after they levelled up as Safina cut across in front of her. For all of that, Andrew Balding’s filly picked up really well once Jimmy Fortune got after her in the home straight to catch and pass long-time leader Nimue and to get to within a length of the winner.

This was a really nice performance from Strictly Dancing on her seasonal debut. She ran just twice last season, she didn’t make her debut until September, and she shaped with a degree of promise when second in a decent Newbury maiden in October, when she had subsequent nursery winner Scottish Boogie back in third. As a daughter of Danehill Dancer, it is possible that she may not want rattling fast ground during the summer, but she is out of Lochangel, Lochsong’s half-sister and a high class sprinter in her own right who has already produced a five-furlong winner in Celestial Dream and a seven-furlong winner in Star Pupil. There is no doubt that Strictly Dancing has ability, she saw out this seven-furlong trip well. Her maiden win is not far off, and she could prove to be quite useful. She is a fair bit better than the bare form of this run suggests, and she will be more at home on a more conventional track.

7th May 2010