KZN’s Super Mare Dancewiththedevil Headed To UK



KZN’s Super Mare Dancewiththedevil Headed To UK

KZN Breeders' Horse Of The Year and five time Grade 1 winner,Dancewiththedevil, heads to the UK. Image: Sporting Post

Peter Gibson of Racing South Africa has confirmed that Dancewiththedevil started her pre-export quarantine on 1 June, where she will fly via Mauritius to her intended destination in the UK, to be ready in time for their next racing season.

So sadly we won’t be seeing Dancewiththedevil crossing the finishing line at the Vodacom Durban July this year. She is currently second on the log, sharing a level merit rating with Jackson.

Dancewiththedevil is bred, owned and trained by St John Gray, the product of a ‘stallion swop’ arrangement that St John Gray had with Craig Ramsay, she is by Modus Vivendi and was voted Equus Champion Older Filly/Mare in 2011 as well as KZN Breeders Award for Horse-Of-The-Year last year.

She has had nine wins to date including six stakes wins – of which five of those are Group 1 status – as well as five places including a second in the Joburg Spring F & M Challenge Grade 3, placing in April in the L Jaffee Empress Club Stakes Grade 1.

She has earned a total of R3, 903 425 in stakes from age three to five.

Her scintillating wins include the Sansui Summer Cup Grade 1, Gold Challenge Grade 1, Empress Club Stakes Grade 1, Horse Chestnut Stakes Grade 1 twice in a row, as well as the Acacia Handicap Grade 3.

Dancewiththedevil went on to run off form in the Champions Challenge Gr 1, finishing an uncharacteristic 8th to Europa Point after injuring her hindquarter in the stable after the Sansui Summer Cup Gr 1. Cathy Martin of Hadlow Stud explains: “She injured herself after slipping while getting up from a sleep in her stable. The injury did not occur while training.”

“Anyone who has seen her go from the parade ring onto the track and the manner in which she goes down to the start, seen the look in her eye and her eagerness will have have seen that she is a horse with a huge will to win. Proof of her incredible ability is that the muscle injury occurred after her Summer Cup win, which resulted in her subsequent scratching from the J&B Met. She still went on to win a Group 1 (the Horse Chestnut Stakes) with this injury that in hindsight must still have been niggling her. She has plenty of big match temperament.

“She has had a rest and is ready to race again. It is hoped that she will win some races in the UK which will make her pedigree more commercial internationally. She will then in all probability be retired to stud in the UK. We might see her offspring being brought back here to race.

“She will enjoy the type of track in the UK and also their races. Her racing career in South Africa has shown that she is well suited to tracks with a longer straight in to the finish. She has seemed to be well suited to Clairwood and Turffontein and not seemed to like Greyville with its shorter run to the finish.”

Cathy describes Dancewiththedevil as a very strong filly and very nice looking. “She is a plain bay, but so far one of the nicest looking horses out of her dam (Emperor’s Dance). She has a good temperament.”

Something very interesting to point out about Dancewiththedevil’s career is that she only left the farm (Hadlow Stud) when she was three-and-a-half years old, for no other reason than St John’s yard in Randjiesfontein was full at the time. “He had a lot of good horses in training at the time, most of them multiple winners and was not able to move them on yet and make space for the crop of horses she was part of” Cathy explains.

KZN Breeders'Horse Of The Year - Dancewiththedevil - Graystone Stud, collected by Jonathan and Cathy Martin of Hadlow Stud. Image: MMVII

Her dam, Emperor’s Dance, has a chestnut colt weanling this year by Jam Alley(AUS). Emperor’s Dance is barren this year as she foaled quite late – on the evening of the KZN Breeder’s Awards last year at the end of November, just half an hour before her champion daughter was named Horse Of The Year at the ceremony.

Dancewiththedevil’s half-sister, Dance Alley (by Jam Alley), is also bred, owned and trained by St John Gray. A consistent racehorse, she has had two wins and four places to date and looks like she will also go on the be a very useful horse.

We wish St John Gray of Graystone Stud and Cathy and Jonathan Martin of Hadlow Stud all the best with their super mare, she has certainly flown the flag for KZN and made us all very proud. We look forward to seeing Dancewiththedevil succeed in the UK, and who knows – she might just give Black Caviar a challenge in the future.


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