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The tale of Dancer's Tale

With some sixty to seventy people involved in the ownership, it’s a fair bet that plenty of them are among the large crowd welcoming Dancer’s Tale back to scale after her stunning stakes win at Riccarton on Saturday.  - Photo: NZTM website
With some sixty to seventy people involved in the ownership, it’s a fair bet that plenty of them are among the large crowd welcoming Dancer’s Tale back to scale after her stunning stakes win at Riccarton on Saturday.

Photo: NZTM website

A two-year-old stakes winner in only the second two-year-old stakes race of the season is almost a perfect start for the Challenge No 1 Syndicate, the first syndicate of Adrian Clark's Challenge Syndications Ltd launched earlier this year.

Dancer's Tale (Tale Of The Cat [USA]- Pineau) provided that win for the syndicate when winning the listed Welcome Stakes at Riccarton. The first filly to race from the four filly syndicate has now had three starts for two wins and a third placing in the listed Wellesley Stakes.

She debuted in the first two-year-old event of the season at Wanganui and won with ease. At her next start in the Wellesley Stakes she began awkwardly and ran home strongly to finish third. The addition of blinkers in the Welcome Stakes helped the filly keep her mind on the job and she took the short cut home along the rails to win easily.

A large number of the sixty to seventy shareholders in the Challenge No I Syndicate were on hand to witness the win and experience the thrill of racing a stakes winner. The syndicate has four fillies, each with different trainers. Dancer's Tale is trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman at Cambridge, along with Raajaine, an Iffraaj [GB] filly from Douzaine, a member of the Soliloquy family through her third dam Solstice.

Fascination Street (Elusive City – Piece of Cake) is a full sister to the listed two-year-old winner Lamington Vegas and ran fourth on debut in October, and is trained by John Sargent at Matamata, while the fourth filly, Harper Rose (Sahkee's Secret [GB]- Careless Tease[USA]), is with Richard Collett at Pukekohe Park. She has been to the trials.

The Karaka Millon in late January is the aim for Dancer's Tale and as the leading stake earner to date she will qualify and can now quietly head for that goal.

Dancer's Tale is the third foal of the Carnegie (IRE) mare Pineau, and was bred by Graham and Helen-Gaye Bax and their partner in Blandford Lodge Owen Glenn who trades under the Go Bloodstock banner.

Pineau is a winning daughter of Dopff, Haunui Farm's fabulous Tights (USA) mare that won eight races including the group two Bluebird Foods Trophy at Ellerslie. She is therefore a half sister to the stakes placed Octopussy (Octagonal), now the dam of the group two Wakefield Challenge Stakes winner Pussy Willow (O'Reilly) and also Riesling, the dam of the group three Manawatu Classic winner Valpolicella.

This is a family full of stakes winners including Rizon, Ready To Lift, Ascending, Sir Clyde and Currigee, to name a few.

According to Graham Bax he purchased the mare from Haunui Farm at the Gold Coast Magic Million sale when she was in foal to Invincible Spirit(IRE). He then left her in Australia to foal down the subsequent colt and visit Snitzel (AUS). After producing a filly to Snitzel, she remained in Australia and eventually returned back to New Zealand in foal to Tale of The Cat.

"It was a great family but I thought it needed an injection of speed, so I chose Tale of The Cat for that reason. Who would have thought a Carnegie mare could leave such an early two-year-old," added Bax.

"She always was a smart looker very much like Tale of The Cat and we were a little disappointed that she was only a Select yearling. However we were pleased with the $60,000 Adrian paid for her, and rapt that she has become a stakes winner.

"We had a nice crop of foals that year. Owen decided to keep the Sebring (AUS) – Mica's Pride (AUS) colt and as Criterion he has had one start for a win at Rosehill. At the Ready to Run Sale Owen (Go Bloodstock) sold an O'Reilly colt out of Espurante for $220,000 so we are hopeful there will be more graduates to add to our list of stakes winners.

"I am constantly upgrading our bloodstock portfolios and we made the decision to sell Pineau after the yearling sales last year. Both she and her Mastercraftsman (IRE) filly went through the ring at the Mixed Bloodstock Sale in May. That's the swings and roundabouts of the breeding game," he concluded philosophically

The grey Mastercraftsman filly was sold to the Hawkes Bay for $5,000 and for a mere $6,000 Taranaki dairy farmer Johnny Goodin and his wife Helena bought Pineau to add to the broodmare band owned by them and Hawera-based accountant Gavin O'Dea.

Naturally the trio is delighted with deeds on Dancer's Tale.

"It's pretty exciting. We knew it was a very good family and that is why we wanted to buy into it," said O'Dea, a member of the Taranaki branch of the NZTBA.

"And to get more black type close up is a real bonus. She has left a lovely colt foal to Tavistock this year, and will visit O'Reilly. And that foal will be a three-quarter relation to Pussy Willow.

"It's a family that is going to keep improving I am sure, and it's given our little partnership a boost."


- Michelle Saba


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