Dancing Star (left) storms to victory in the Stewards’ Cup
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony McFadden 3:46PM 30 JUL 2016
Report: Goodwood, Saturday
Qatar Stewards’ Cup (Heritage Handicap) 6f, 3yo+
DANCING STAR, who hails from the same family and yard as the top-class sprinter Lochsong, heaped further misery on the suffering bookmakers as the well-backed 9-2 favourite ran out a convincing one-and-a-quarter length winner of the Stewards’ Cup.
Lochsong, who also carried the famous purple colours of owner Jeff Smith, streaked down the Sussex Downs to win the 1992 Stewards’ Cup before developing into one of the best sprinters of her generation and trainer Andrew Balding holds Group-race aspirations for the improving Dancing Star, who was registering her fourth win from five starts this season.
“I’d love for her to go on a little holiday and I think we’ll put her in the big sprint at the end of the year – she’ll probably go to the 6f race on Champions Day,” Balding said, before revealing his relief that she had snuck into the race as number 28 of 28.
“We were lucky to get into the race and it was more by luck than judgement she crept in!”
Orion’s Bow, the 6-1 second favourite, was unable to complete the six-timer but he ran a cracker to finish runner-up to such a progressive rival.
“We’ve been beaten by a very useful horse and have no complaints,” trainer David Nicholls said. “We’re happy. Confidence is a great thing and he now has a lot of confidence. You’ll hear a lot more of him.”
Raucous (16-1) and Growl (14-1) filled the frame.
Lochsong (bottom right) winning the 1992 Stewards’ Cup
PICTURE: Racing Post
Lochsong, who was a half-sister to Dancing Star’s granddam Lochangel, won the Stewards’ Cup as a four-year-old before blazing her way into the hearts of punters and the record books with stunning wins in Group 1s such as the Nunthorpe and the Prix de l’Abbaye.
Dancing Star has a long way to go before she can be mentioned in the same glowing terms as her illustrious ancestor, but, given the family’s history of progressing with age, the future is clearly bright for Dancing Star, who showed precocious speed to brush aside her older rivals.
“This year she has improved so much run by run,” winning rider David Probert said. “She had plenty of speed around her which helped her and she has done it well. She’s a lovely filly and there is no reason she shouldn’t keep going forward and again next year.”
Probert, who shared the apprentice title with William Buick in 2008 when attached with the Balding yard, was understandably elated to register such a high-profile success for the boss and added: “It is unbelievable – these opportunities don’t come along very often.”
Dancing Star could be backed at 7-1 on raceday morning and her victory at a starting price of 9-2 inflicted another body blow to bookmakers, who have suffered a series of bad results during the week, none worse than Franklin D‘s Betfred Mile win on Friday.
Paul Binfield of Paddy Power said: “This isn’t a week that will be remembered fondly by the bookies. The two big handicaps at Goodwood have gone to massively-backed favourites. The bookies certainly won’t be dancing the night away.”