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Inbred Danzdanzdance dominates in the Zabeel Classic


Les Young | 02.01.2019

Inbreeding to Danehill (Danzig) has produced mixed results to date but a real star bred this way has won back-to-back Group 1 tests in New Zealand in recent weeks.

This is the grey four-year-old mare Danzdanzdance (Mastercraftsman) who on Boxing Day romped in to take out the Zabeel Classic (Gr 1, 2000m) on a heavy track at Ellerslie to follow up on her four length triumph in the Captain Cook Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Trentham earlier in December.

In the Zabeel Classic Danzdanzdance scored by three and a half-lengths from the well performed Lizzie L’Amour (Zabeel), with the now retired stallion Jon Snow (Iffraaj) a distant third.

Danzdanzdance has won four races and further shown her class with a second in the Avondale Guineas (Gr 2, 2100m) and thirds in the New Zealand Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) and the Hawkes Bay Livamol Classic (Gr 1, 2040m).

Bred by New Zealanders W.G. and H.G. Bax but foaled in Australia, Danzdanzdance was bought for syndication by their daughter Kylie for just NZ$5,000 at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale and her success on the track is further testimony to the judgement of Kylie Bax, who was also involved in the purchase of Beauty Generation (Road To Rock), now regarded as the world’s top miler (see Pedigree Page, December 19, 2018).  

Looking at the pedigree of Danzdanzdance it is hard to understand why she was sold so cheaply as she is a daughter of four time Group 1 winner and successful sire Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer) from a family not lacking in black type close up.

Inbred to Danehill 3 x 3 via two sons, Danzdanzdance is out of unraced Night Dancer (Danzero) while her second dam Gretchen (Bahhare), a good winner in Melbourne, was runner up to Rinky Dink (Distorted Humor) in the 2004 SAJC Australasian Oaks (Gr 1,2000m) with two other stakes placings to her credit.

Gretchen, in turn, is a half-sister to the high class and durable performer Silky Red Boxer (Casual Lies) and eight other winners from unraced Soleil Etoile (Star Way), a half-sister to Group winners Soleil Rouge (Red Tempo) and Black Sun (Otehi Bay).

Danzdanzdance carries three lines of Northern Dancer (Nearctic) and is also linebred 5 x 5 to Mr. Prospector (Raise a Native) through his notable sons Miswaki and Woodman.

The 2018 Zabeel Classic winner also has close up in her family the top class performer Lucia Valentina (Savabeel) whose wins include the ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m), VRC Turnbull Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) and ATC Vinery Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m).Now at stud, Lucia Valentina also placed third in four other Group 1 races in Australia.

This is a noted speed family with its origins in Ireland, with Danzdanzdance’s fourth dam Polly Soleil (Roi Soleil) imported to New Zealand in the 1980s as a sister to the good sprinter Polly’s Brother (Roi Soleil) and a half-brother to the stallion Avon Valley (Galivanter).

Mastercraftsman, sire of Danzdanzdance, shuttled to New Zealand’s Windsor Park Stud for four seasons from 2010 after a brilliant racing career for the Coolmore partners.

He was Europe’s best two-year-old colt in 2008 when he won the Curragh Phoenix Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) and the National Stakes (Gr 1,7f) before going on at three to capture the Irish 2,000 Guineas (Gr 1,1m) and finish second to champion Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) in the International Stakes (Gr 1, 1m2f) at York.

Now based at Coolmore in Ireland, Mastercraftsman had a big year in Europe in 2018 due to the exploits of his outstanding three-year-old filly Alpha Centauri, just one of his 57 stakes winners to date and one of his 11 progeny to be successful at Group 1 level in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, the United States, New Zealand and Chile, where he has shuttled since last seen in New Zealand.

With black type winners over a range of distances up to close to 3000 metres, Mastercraftsman has been a very versatile sire with Classic winning colts in Britain (Kingston Hill) and France (The Grey Gatsby) and a number of top class females.

His seasons at Windsor Park Stud proved productive as apart from Danzdanzdance they resulted in other Group 1 winners in The Auld Floozie, Saint Emilion and Valley Girl as well as nine other stakes winners in Mime, Luvaluva, Sacred Master, Thunder Lady, Basic Trilogy, Choice, Jackofall, Flavigny and Treasure.   


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