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Dancing Warrior - Part 1

Monday 26th November, 2012 and our dream begins. Our big 2yo colt, now named Dancing Warrior, has gone from Kolora Lodge in sunny south-east Queensland, where he was broken-in, and where he spelled for the last 7 weeks and is now back at trainer Dan Bougoure’s Falvelon Lodge on Eagle Farm racecourse, Brisbane to be trained as we hope, to be as good as Falvelon, the colt Dan trained to win his first 7 starts than go on to international success with 2 Hong Kong Sprints as well as the Doomben 10,000 (twice), the BTC Cup, MVRC Schweppes Stakes and VATC Schillachi Stakes. He was rarely far away in big races with his minor placings including the VRC Lightning, VRC Newmarket, Oakleigh Plate, Stradbroke Handicap and Emirates Classic, all Group 1s, and ended up having 37 starts for 15 wins (2xG1, 5xG2 and 2xG3) and 13 placings and the cost of a shout of drinks less than $4million in prize-money.

Dan Bougoure cut his teeth as the strapper of the great international galloper Strawberry Road trained in Australia by his father Doug before being trained in France mid-80s, winning in France and Germany for his new owners and trainers. Doug’s cousin was Garnet Bougoure, the only Australian jockey to win a jockey’s championship in Ireland back in the early 1960s when riding for the master Paddy Prendergast and still revered by older Irish horsemen as I found out on a recent trip to The Curragh.

And the dream, at least mine, that is? Some may say far-fetched, but dreams make this world go around therefore his goal is to win the Golden Slipper, the richest race in the world for 2yo thoroughbred racehorses. It can be done, as well I know, without being a Coolmore or Darley, having been part of the syndicate that raced the unlucky runner-up in 1981. The 1981 Slipper saw the unbeaten Inghams’ owned colt Crown Jester sent out as a 6/4 favourite on a slow track, but it was left to the well-bred Victorian colt, Full On Aces, trained by Angus Armanasco and ridden by Queensland jockey Mick Dittman to record an exciting ¾ length x 2 lengths victory over our filly Food For Love ridden by Wayne Harris, with another filly 3rd, Rose Of Kingston, in the time of 1-13.1. When Wayne brought the filly back to the birdcage after the race he was almost in tears and told George Ryder (our syndicate manager and also the then chairman of the Sydney Turf Club) and myself that the filly was balked outside the 200m post and lost about a length before recovering and getting to the lead only to be run down in the shadows of the post by Full On Aces. Wayne added that with a clear run she would have won for sure, but that’s racing as we all know it. The third horse was no slouch either and went on to be Australian Horse of the Year in 1982 and later the dam of Kingston Rule, by the great Secretariat, and the Bart Cummings trained Kingston Rule still holds the Melbourne Cup race record of 3.16.3 set way back in 1990.

How I became involved with this particular horse was not a sight for sore eyes but resulted from a case of sore feet. I was covering Golden Slipper Day for www.greatracehorses.net and had been on my feet all afternoon and my tootsies were giving me gyp. About twenty minutes before the running of the Slipper I spotted a vacant chair at a table near the bar. The vacant chair was temporarily vacated by Marybeth, partner of Queensland trainer Dan Bougoure, and the other occupants of the table allowed me to sit there until she returned. I reciprocated the favour by buying Dan and myself a Heineken beer or two as we were having a good old chinwag about racing going back to the early 70s. Dan is from the tail-end of the old breed of horse-trainers and I asked him why he was at the races as he didn’t have a runner on the day and he replied he was down to hopefully find a bargain at the Inglis Easter Yearling sales which were on the following week. I gave him my card and sure enough an email turned up a few weeks later. The rest is history and even though I replied very quickly in the affirmative to taking a share I was lucky to buy in and even had to split my share with a friend and his wife who wanted in too. Anyway, I’m sure we are all in it for fun and if we are lucky enough to make any money, we’ll spend it celebrating.

The Show A Heart/ Magsaya colt was lot 261 in the Inglis Easter Sales and every buyer at those yearling sales and other sales around the country has the same dream as us – to win the Golden Slipper. He only cost $50,000 +GST and in my opinion, based on his breeding, he was a steal at that price. I haven’t seen him in the flesh as yet but the photographs suggest he will be a powerful sprinter and later may progress up to 2000m races as many Show A Hearts are doing. He has Danehill on his dam’s side and Nijinsky on his sire’s side and has lots of wonder stallion St Simon on both sides of his pedigree way back at the end of the 19th century. I also remember watching his 4th dam, Princess Talaria, win many races for trainer Tommy Smith back in the late 70s and can recall her running a half-length second to Luskin Star in the Caulfield Guineas. As a 2yo she had run 4th to Triple Crown winner Luskin Star in the 1977 Golden Slipper, though the winner did win by 7 lengths.

Maybe we won’t have enough time to qualify Cochise (as the stable-hands call him), if good enough, on prizemoney but if he picks up one of the Inglis bonus races (the bonus prize-money doesn’t count towards Slipper entry but could help pay a late entry fee) and one of the lead-up races before the big day such as the Todman Stakes or Pago Pago Stakes, then you never know…..!
It may only be a dream but being a creative person I’ve always followed this maxim throughout my life (which I’m sure I wrote myself many years ago) – ‘Dream the dream, then live the dream’ – and up to now it has worked!

Andrew Beattie

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