Horses To Follow » Dare To Dance

Dare To Dance

Dare To Dance had finished very strongly on his debut in a one-mile maiden at Kempton in April before going one better at Sandown on his second start three months later. He was one of the first under pressure at the Esher track before grinding out victory on soft ground, eventually winning going away. He looked in need of a step up in trip after that, which he got at Newmarket on Saturday in a Class 3 0-95 handicap over 10 furlongs, and he seemed to improve a good deal for the longer trip.

The race looked a competitive one on paper and he was in against older horses for the first time. Yet, despite that, Jeremy Noseda’s horse was well backed all day, being sent off the 3/1 favourite. He had a progressive profile coming into this race and he continued that progression in winning well here. His draw in stall 17, widest of all, meant that he raced out more towards the centre of the course, away from the near rail which seemed to be the place to be all day, Swiss Dream and Status Symbol had both made all the running in the previous two races against the rail, so Dare To Dance may have been disadvantaged by racing some way off it. Nevertheless, in a race run at only a steady tempo, he picked up well from mid-division out in the centre, and stayed on powerfully to win well, having travelled much better than he had at Sandown and always looking a potential winner. The second and third had raced prominently, both in the first three or four throughout, and there was some severe scrimmaging back in the midfield as they came to the turn into the home straight due to a lack of space, evidence of the pace not being a generous one. The time was good though, the fastest comparative time of the day, and Dare To Dance deserves credit for picking up so well, given that the pace was not fast and he had looked to be more of a grinder than a quickener on his previous start.

The ground on Saturday was not as bad as had been expected, it had dried up overnight and through the day after heavy rain on Friday, and the times actually indicate that it was no worse than good. Dare To Dance is by Danehill Dancer, whose progeny often go well with cut in the ground, but he is out of a mare called Beneventa who was at her best on a sound surface, she won the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes and the Listed Aphrodite Stakes both at Newmarket on good ground. While Dare To Dance undoubtedly improved for the step up to 10 furlongs, he may well improve for stepping up again in trip to a mile and a half, his dam stayed that trip well (the Aphrodite is over 12 furlongs), and he was really strong at the finish here. He has been made favourite for the Cambridgeshire on the back of this win, but that may not be the race for him dropped back down to nine furlongs. You usually need a 10-furlong horse to win the Cambridgeshire, but Dare To Dance may be even better next season when stepped up to a mile and a half.

27th August 2011