A gutsy performance for third in Saturday’s Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill has all but ensured class performer Danzdanzdance has booked a battle with a world champion next month.
The Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley-trained Mastercraftsman four-year-old looked every inch at home in Australian Group One company on the weekend as she came from well back in the early running to finish third behind winner Avilius in the Ranvet.
It was enough to convince Bradley that Danzdanzdance deserved the chance to take her place in the A$4million Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 13, the race set down as the swansong for wonder-mare Winx.
Bradley was full of smiles as she described her feelings after Saturday’s contest.
“It was a superb effort,” she said.
“Opie (rider Opie Bosson) said that there was no-one really going for the lead and she (Danzdanzdance) started travelling and getting up on the bit.
“She’s a horse that does need cover, as once she gets it, she settles.
“If he’d just let her go a little bit forward and got one spot handier (she might have got closer at the finish), but we’re stoked with that run, just really happy.”
Bradley admitted they were now ready to roll the dice and take on Winx at Randwick.
“Well we press on (from here),” she said.
“We know Winx is obviously going to be in the Queen Elizabeth, but if you’re not in it you can’t win it.
“You’ve got to give it a go.
“As long as we’ve pulled up fine then we will be paying up and going there.”
Danzdanzdance is also likely to face off against another of her rivals from Saturday in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Ranvet runner-up, He’s Eminent, also likely to progress on to the race.
The Sir Peter Vela-owned five-year-old was gallant in defeat in the Ranvet Stakes after making all of the pace with his trainer, dual Olympic gold-medallist Sir Mark Todd, keen to see him take his place against Winx.
“I was thrilled with his run,” Todd said.
“For a horse who has never run on ground like that and not having run since August last year, that was always going to be our weak link.
“He’s run a huge race and pulled up very well, so we just have to hope for good ground next time.
“We will see how he comes through this, but I think it will really bring him on, with the Queen Elizabeth being our main target all along.”
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the feature event on the second day of The Championships at Royal Randwick with a capacity crowd expected to turn out to see Winx try to end her stellar career with her 33rd consecutive victory.
An impeccably-bred son of Frankel, He’s Eminent is likely to take up stud duties in New Zealand at the conclusion of his racing career. – NZ Racing Desk