A strong Bendigo exhibition gallop from the Danny Curran-trained filly The Big Dance has the youngster on track for a possible Danehill Stakes 2015 assignment this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Jockey Dean Yendall was thrilled with the effort of the rising three-year-old daughter of Oamaru Force who he described as “more switched on” than when he partnered her for a win on debut at the track back in March.
That day The Big Dance went out over 1000m and ran home well for a two and a quarter length victory over Bundy Red to kick off her career in fine style in the lucrative $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush.
On Wednesday morning Yendall put her through her paces over 800m on the course proper between races at Bendigo, showing a newfound mental maturity completing the gallop in 49 seconds on the Soft (7) track.
“She felt strong enough last time in, in that two-year-old race, but she’s a bit more switched on, a bit sounder and a bit more aware of what’s going on now,” Yendall said.
“The last furlong I gave her a slap down the shoulder, just to ask her to go a bit quicker, and she was happy to oblige.
“She felt good and there’s no reason why she can’t go on with it.”
Now she’s tracking towards a spring return with her Bendigo-based trainer Curran keen to run her first-up at Moonee Valley on August 1 in a 3YO Fillies’ Handicap.
Plans after that are to step her up in class for a possible run in the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Makybe Diva Stakes Day, September 12.
“She’s fit enough to run 1000 metres in 10 days we think, it depends how she pulls up, but that hopefully will bring her right on for that,” Curran said.
“She’s absolutely where we want her.”
The Danehill Stakes has been won by many turf greats over the years including the mighty mare Black Caviar (2009) and star colt Sepoy (2011).
For three-year-olds that run well in the set weights plus penalties feature down the Flemington straight, possible next-up targets include the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 10 for the fillies.
Should The Big Dance salute in any black-type, let alone an elite level classic like the Thousand Guineas, it would be a genuine fairytale result for Curran and connections who picked up the filly for a steal at $750 from last year’s VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale.
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