Horses To Follow » Dance And Dance

Dance And Dance

Dance And Dance has been a tremendous horse this season, running consistently well in all the top mile handicaps. He has gone up 15lb, from 93 to 108, despite winning just one of them. He is there or thereabouts in just about every race in which he runs and that despite not having the rub of the green on more than one occasion this season. His latest effort came in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury last Thursday on his first run in Pattern company, probably running a career best to finish second in a race not run particularly to suit.

He was held up out the back in this good race, a race that was densely populated by hold-up performers. He was keen early on as The Rectifier, the only front-runner in the race, was able to cross over from wide to bag the lead and set no better than a moderate pace. That was borne out by the finishing positions, with Side Glance, who had sat a clear second all the way through, wearing down the leader inside the final furlong to go and win narrowly with The Rectifier, a 28/1 shot, keeping on well for third. Dance And Dance deserves huge credit in coming from where he did, having to make his ground widest of all, to split that pair. Indeed, he made Side Glance dig deep to prevail by a rapidly diminishing neck. Ed Vaughan’s gelding once again showed that acceleration and tenacity that has served him so well this season.

This run came off a just a fair gallop, much different to what he is used to in the big handicaps that he has been contesting. To finish as well as he did off that pace having been free enough early on is testament to just how good, and versatile, a horse he is. There is still another big prize in him, probably in a big handicap, a race in which a fast pace should be guaranteed, he did win the Investec Mile at Epsom on Oaks day, comfortably so. He could have won the Totesport Mile on his previous run from a poor draw in stall 15, a race in which a low draw is almost essential, but had his run continually blocked – same story as in the Royal Hunt Cup when he had to pull back and switch around the winner late on – and he still probably would have finished fourth at Goodwood had Jamie Spencer not dropped his hands. He has been a really fine example of his young trainer’s talents this season, but the horse obviously has a tough constitution and takes his racing extremely well. He is in the Group 3 Solonaway Stakes at The Curragh on 11th September, his trainer is understandably keen to look for Pattern success, and he is certainly up to winning at this level.

11th August 2011