St. John Gray and Sherman Brown both rattled off hattricks at Turffontein Inside yesterday and one leg of the double they had together was Dance Class, who has now won five in a row and is threatening to become the next black type earner in a Gray-owned family whose star member was Dance Class’s close relative, Dancewiththedevil.
The latter looked to the casual observer to be a useful handicapper halfway through her four-year-old season before beating a Grade 1 winner in a Graduation Plate and then proving that was no fluke by winning the Grade 3 Acacia Handicap, the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and the Grade 1 Laurie Jaffee Empress Club Stakes within a period of six weeks.
She later won the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge and the Grade 1 Sansui Summer Cup.
Dance Class, who won over 2000m yesterday carrying 57,5kg off an 87 merit rating, has a long way to go to match those feats.
However, being a late maturer is not the only similarity she has to Dancewiththedevil.
Firstly, she is by the same sire, Modus Vivendi, and is out of the five-time winning Jam Alley mare Dance Alley, who is a half-sister to Dancewiththedevil.
She is not quite as classy as Dancewiththedevil was but like her she is not tall but is strong and has a tremendous turn of foot.
She took a while to get going from a handy position yesterday but once she hit top gear she passed her full-sister Jive Express and then fetched the topweight Heartstwings to win by a comfortable 1,50 lengths.
Gray said in the post race interview that her acceleration indeed reminded him of her famous three-parts relative and he concluded by saying she was not far off Dancewiththedevil’s class and would also be especially effective on the Turffontein Standside track.
Gray won the first two races at the meeting with progeny of Bezrin.
The first-timer colt After Hours, who is a half-brother to the three-time winner Grindelwald, started favourite in the first over 1200m and ran on well under Brown to win by 0,75 lengths.
The filly Feather The Nest, who is out of three-time winning Announce mare Nesting Call, ran on well in the second over 1200m and just held on under S’Manga Khumalo to convert odds of 5/1,having been backed in from 13/1.
Bezrin stands at Hadlow Stud for St John alongside Announce and produced multiple winners from distances of 1000m – 3200m.
Gray owns and bred all three of his winners, operating from Cathy and Jonathan Martin’s Hadlow Stud.