Racing gamely despite a pulled shoe to finish a close second in Friday’s Dee Stakes (G3) at Chester Racecourse in England, Runnymede-bred Dancing David earned his ticket to the prestigious Prix du Jockey Club (G1) (French Derby) at Chantilly on June 6.
The son of Danehill Dancer, who races for Runnymede Chairman Catesby W. Clay, pleased trainer Brian Meehan and jockey Martin Dwyer with his performance, the first of his career beyond one mile.
“He showed plenty of speed and rallied to get back close to the line,” Meehan said. “He will improve off that effort.”
Like the French Derby, the Dee Stakes is run over approximately 1 5/16 miles. Dancing David rated off the early pace set by Party Doctor, surged to the lead in the stretch and was just caught in the final furlong by the John Gosden-trained Azmeel. Dancing David battled on even though he lost the shoe on his right front foot during the running, finishing just a half-length behind the winner and in front of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s duo of Rasmy, who was third, and Tamaathul, fourth.
Further back in fifth was Coolmore’s Encompassing, a son of Montjeu and Serena’s Song’s Group 1-winning daughter Sophisticat.
Dwyer reported that Dancing David displayed stamina in addition to speed. “He is a lot stronger horse this year,” the jockey said.
Dancing David was produced by the Seeking the Gold mare Seek Easy, and Runnymede has an outstanding yearling half brother to the classic contender by top young sire Oasis Dream. Seek Easy is from the immediate female family of champion Fanfreluche, whose dazzling array of descendants includes sires Encosta de Lago, Flying Spur and Kheleyf as well as champion and young stallion Holy Roman Emperor.
Meanwhile, about 75 miles away at Nottingham Racecourse, another Runnymede-bred also distinguished herself on Friday. Woodford Belle, a three-year-old filly by Arch out of the Notebook mare Tis Me finished a strong second in a competitive field of ten in the second division of the Concept Cabins 10th Anniversary Maiden Fillies Stakes over approximately 1 1/16 miles.
Also trained by Meehan and carrying Clay’s green silks, Woodford Belle was making her first start of 2010, and the delighted trainer said she undoubtedly will advance from the experience.
Runnymede will offer Woodford Belle’s athletic yearling half brother by Rock of Gibraltar at the Tattersalls October sale in Newmarket.