Horses To Follow » City Dancer

City Dancer

Hawkeyethenoo’s run in the Epsom Dash was the main story of this year’s race, he broke slowly and was nearer last than first most of the way before running on well inside the final furlong to finish second, a neck behind Bertoliver. This may have allowed the run of City Dancer, a 16/1 shot, to have gone significantly under the radar. The daughter of Elusive City was much slower away than Hawkeyethenoo and was stuck in second last place when they passed the two-furlong marker. Short of room, jockey Franny Norton eventually switched the Dandy Nicholls-trained filly to the inside rail and into the slipstream of the favourite. She followed Hawkeyethenoo all the way from here and ran on strongly inside the final 150 yards to finish sixth, beaten two and a half lengths.

This was another high class renewal of the Dash, run at a blistering pace and run in a time that was well inside standard. City Dancer looked to have no chance at halfway, having completely missed the start, but she ran on really well when in the clear. It was a promising run on only her third start for Dandy Nicholls, even allowing for the fact that she was racing on the fastest part of the track, near to the stands rail. She was a 95-rated sprinter last year for Alan Berry, she had dropped to a mark 88 for Saturday and the handicapper has dropped her another 1lb now down to a mark of 87, which gives her a real chance of being competitive in some of the valuable sprint handicaps now, especially given that she has joined sprint king Dandy Nicholls, and that, based on this evidence, she appears to be at least as good as she was last season. She clearly has a lot of ability, she beat Rain Delayed over five furlongs as a two-year-old, and her run in a listed race at Chester last year to finish third behind Doncaster Rover looks even better now in the light of Doncaster Rover’s exploits this season so far.

She is now 8lb lower than her rating at this time last year, so if she can progress from this, which she may well do for her new trainer, she is well capable of winning again. There is a good chance that she will be well underrated as well, given that she only finished sixth here, and that she hasn’t won a race since she won her maiden at Dundalk for Sheena Collins in October 2008.

5th June 2010