Trainer David Menuisier, who saddled the beaten favourite last year in Thundering Blue, has the fast-improving Danceteria as one of his three candidates for the Cambridgeshire Handicap, run at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 29th September.
The weights for this historic £160,000 nine furlong handicap – the first leg of the Autumn Double – were revealed today and Danceteria has been allotted 8st 12lbs while Menuisier’s other two entries, History Writer and Dragons Voice, would both need to pick up penalties in order to make it into the main race having been given 8st 1lbs and 7st 12lbs respectively.
However, those missing the cut will have the opportunity to contest the £50,000 Shadwell Farm Handicap (Silver Cambridgeshire) over the same course and distance on Friday, 28th September.
Danceteria has won his last three starts, all mile and a quarter handicaps on Newmarket’s July Course, most recently registering a three and three-quarter length success in the bbag-sales.de Handicap on 11th August which saw him raised 10lbs to his current mark of 103.
Dragons Voice is also in top form, having landed a handicap at Sandown on Saturday, but History Writer could finish no better than fifth in a different race on the same Sandown card.
The weights are headed on 9st 10lbs by the South African Group 1 winner, Whisky Baron, one of three leading contenders for trainer William Haggas alongside Alfarris and Seniority. Haggas also has Original Choice entered in the race on 9st.
Other well-known names among a 139-strong entry include Zhui Feng, successful in the 2017 Royal Hunt Cup and twice placed in the Victoria Cup, and the Brian Meehan-trained Spark Plug, now down to a handicap mark of 107, just 3lbs higher than when he prevailed in this race two years ago.
David Menuisier, trainer of Danceteria, History Writer and Dragons Voice, said:
“Danceteria is a very versatile horse, I think that the drop back to nine furlongs would not be a problem for him. Going up 10lbs for his last win seems fair as he won quite easily and I think he is pretty good so his new mark does not scare me.”
“It sounds a bit cheeky, I know, but he might turn out to be even better than Thundering Blue, and they have a similar profile in the way that they are improving, it’s just that Danceteria has got there a year earlier. Danceteria is certainly much more professional and easy to handle.”
“Thundering Blue was not beaten by a lack of ability when he was sixth last year, it was just the circumstances of the race, as he was forced to race on his own in no man’s land for a long time. I think Danceteria would handle a bit of bad luck in running more easily than he did.”
“But Danceteria is not a certain runner. He is also entered in a race in Ireland on 16th September and I will need to speak to his owner [Clive Washbourn] before we make a definite plan.”
“It’s possible that he could run in both races, as there are 13 days between them, I wouldn’t write that off as a possibility.”
“I was hoping History Writer would get in to the Cambridgeshire field by winning at Sandown at the weekend, but unfortunately he appeared not to stay, so I am scratching my head with him at the moment. Dragons Voice would need to win again to get into the race and would only run at Newmarket if the ground is ‘good to soft’ or softer.”