Dancing Rain

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Dancing Rain
Dancing Rain at Epsom Oaks in 2011.jpg
Dancing Rain after her win in the 2011 Epsom Oaks with jockey Johnny Murtagh.
Sire Danehill Dancer
Grandsire Danehill
Dam Rain Flower
Damsire Indian Ridge
Sex Mare
Foaled 24 April 2008
Country Ireland
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Swettenham Stud
Owner 1) Martin J. and Lee A. Taylor
2) Sheikh Mohammed
Trainer William Haggas
Record 10: 4-2-1
Earnings £ 572,503[1]
Major wins
Epsom Oaks (2011)
British Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes (2011)
Preis der Diana (2011)

Dancing Rain (foaled on 24 April 2008) is a retired Thoroughbred mare that was bred in Ireland and raced in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Japan. Dancing Rain was the unanticipated winner of the 2011 Epsom Oaks and won the Preis der Diana in the later part of her three-year-old season. Her form faltered late in her three-year-old year, finishing 16th out of a field of 19 horses in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Japan. Her four-year-old season was plagued with injury and she did not run in a race until late October 2012. Retired at the end of 2012, Dancing Rain became a broodmare at Clairemont Stud in Hampshire and was subsequently sold to Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for £4.2m while in foal to Frankel.


Dancing Rain was bred by Swettenham Stud, a breeding operation owned by the Sangster family,[2] and was foaled on 24 April 2008[1] at Camas Park Stud in Tipperary. Dancing Rain's sire, Danehill Dancer, stands at Coolmore Stud and also produced Choisir, a renowned sprinter.[2] Her dam, Rain Flower, did not race[2] and is a three-quarters sister to Epsom Derby winner Dr. Devious.[3] Rain Flower has produced nine foals to date, and five of her offspring have gone on to win races.[4]

Dancing Rain was consigned as a yearling by Camas Park Stud to the 2009 Goff's Orby Million and Sportsman's Yearling Sale in Ireland as lot ("Hip") number 4, where she was purchased by Liam Norris and William Huntingdon for 200,000 ($292,120).[5] Norris and Huntingdon purchased Dancing Rain on behalf of brothers Martin and Lee Taylor.[2]

Racing career[edit]

Dancing Rain was trained by William Haggas, who also trained the 1996 Epsom Derby winner Shaamit,[6] at his Somerville Lodge Stables in Newmarket.[7] Dancing Rain won four of her ten career starts and was second twice.

2010: two-year-old start[edit]

Dancing Rain was not a promising racehorse during her early training and was initially labeled as "hopeless" by her trainer.[7] She improved late in the season and her first and only start as a two-year-old occurred on 19 October at Yarmouth for the Division 1 European Breeders' Fund Maiden Fillies Stakes. She was ridden by Michael Hills and was beaten by 3.5 lengths by the filly Annedah, who was owned by Ali Saeed.[8]

2011: three-year-old season[edit]

Dancing Rain won her first start as a three-year-old in the Robert Sangster Memorial Maiden Fillies Stakes on 15 April at Newbury Racecourse. She was jockeyed by Kieren Fallon who gave her "an uncompromising ride" and pushed the filly to the front[9] to win the race by one and a quarter lengths from Highest.[10] She was second in her next start at Newbury for the Fillies' Trial Stakes on 13 May, losing by a head to Izzi Top who was ridden by Dane O'Neill.[11]

One month before Dancing Rain's start in the Oaks, the filly broke the leg of her exercise rider and her trainer's wife, Maureen Haggas (a daughter of Lester Piggot) while performing drills.[6] Dancing Rain was not favored to win the Oaks, starting the race with 20-1 odds. She was ridden by three-time Derby winning jockey Johnny Murtagh who used the filly's "imposing stride" to his advantage for "a fantastic ride" where Dancing Rain remained uncontested for much of the race.[12] She won by three quarters of a length over Wonder of Wonders and eleven other horses.[13]

Dancing Rain finished fifth in the Irish Oaks on 17 July, leading the race three furlongs from the finish line and weakening under "a relentless drive" from the winning filly Blue Bunting and passed by Banimpire, Wonder of Wonders and Laughing Lashes.[14] Dancing Rain became the first British-trained winner of the €400,000 Preis der Diana on 7 August in Düsseldorf, and ridden by Kieren Fallon, "she shot away from her rivals in the straight" to win by a margin of three lengths.[15] She won again at Ascot in the British Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes beating Bible Belt by two lengths.[16]

In her final start of the season, Dancing Rain ran in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Kyoto Racecourse. A few days before the race, Dancing Rain developed "some heat in her front legs" that was treated with ice baths.[17] Dancing Rain was "never a factor" in the race, finishing in 16th place, far behind Snow Fairy who won the race for a consecutive year.[18]

2012: four-year-old season[edit]

Dancing Rain sustained an ankle injury in the spring of 2012 and her engagement in the Coronation Cup was suspended. Surgery was performed in the spring of 2012.[19] Dancing Rain was engaged for the Yorkshire Oaks,[20] but a week before the race Haggas withdrew her from competition, stating, "I'm afraid she won't be going to York as we're just not happy with her."[21] In her first start of the season, she was third in the British Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes run at Ascot, losing by two and three quarters lengths to Sapphire and Shirocco Star.[22] On 9 December ridden by Johnny Murtagh, Dancing Rain finished eighth out of 12 starters in the Hong Kong Vase won by Red Cadeaux.[23]

Breeding career[edit]

Dancing Rain was retired from racing at the end of 2012 to her owner's Clairemont Stud in Hampshire. She was confirmed to be in foal to Frankel[24] and in December 2013, while still in foal to Frankel, she was auctioned for 4 million guineas (£4.2m) at Tattersalls sales to John Ferguson, acting on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed. The selling price was the second-highest price ever paid at auction for a broodmare in Europe at the time.[25] Dancing Rain gave birth to her first foal, a bay filly by Frankel, in February 2014.[26] Bred to New Approach, she produced another filly in February 2015.[27]

2014 RAINSWEPT (GB) : Bay filly, foaled 5 February, by Frankel (GB) - in training with Andre Fabre at Chantilly; unraced to date 6/06/16

2015 Filly by New Approach (IRE)

2016 Colt by New Approach (IRE)


Pedigree of Dancing Rain (IRE), Chestnut mare, 2008[28]
Danehill Dancer (IRE)
Bay 1993
Danzig Northern Dancer
Pas de Nom
Razvana His Majesty
Spring Adieu
Mira Adonde
Sharpen Up Atan
Lettre D'Amour Caro
Rain Flower (IRE)
Chestnut 1997
Indian Ridge
Ahonoora Lorenzaccio
Helen Nichols
Hillbrow Swing Easy
Golden City
Rose of Jerico
Alleged Hoist the Flag
Princess Pout
Rose Red Northern Dancer
  • Dancing Rain is distantly inbred 4 x 4 to Northern Dancer, meaning this horse appears twice in the fourth generation of her pedigree. Dancing Rain is also distantly inbred 5 x 5 to Ribot, that horse being the sire of both His Majesty and Hoist The Flag.


  1. ^ a b Staff. "Dancing Rain (IRE)". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Staff (6 June 2011). "Dancing Rain claims Oaks". The Australian. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Staff. "Dancing Rain and Maybe keep the family flag flying". Bloodstock World. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Staff. "Consigned by Camas Park Stud" (PDF). Goffs. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Staff. "Goff's Orby Million and Sportsman's Yearling Sale 2009". Bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  6. ^ a b McGrath, Chris (4 June 2011). "Murtagh leads rivals merry dance on Rain for Oaks triumph". The Independent. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  7. ^ a b McGrath, Chris (2 June 2011). "Dancing Rain has Haggas singing". The Independent. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Staff. "European Breeders' Fund Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Div I)". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Staff (15 April 2011). "Newbury duo flaunt their wares". Orange Sport. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Robert Sangster Memorial Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Div II)". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Staff. "Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial Stakes (Listed Race)". Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Townend, Marcus (4 June 2011). "Murtagh's master class leads Dancing Rain to unexpected Investec Oaks triumph". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Investec Oaks (Group 1) (Fillies)". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  14. ^ Schweitzer, Mary (17 July 2011). "Blue Bunting Lands Irish Oaks Thriller". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Godfrey, Nicholas and David Conolly-SMITH (7 August 2011). "Dancing Rain and Fallon land German Oaks rivals". RacingPost.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Staff. "Qipco British Champions Fillies' And Mares' Stakes (Group 2)". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Lees, Jon (10 November 2011). "Dancing Rain on course for Cup despite scare". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  18. ^ Godfrey, Nicholas (13 November 2011). "Super Snow Fairy strikes again in QEII Cup". Racing Post. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  19. ^ UKPA (15 June 2012). "Haggas forecasts Rain progress". Press Association. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Milnes, David (6 April 2012). "Oaks winner Dancing Rain suffers setback". Racing Post. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  21. ^ Staff (14 August 2012). "Dancing Rain return delayed". Sporting Life. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  22. ^ Staff. "Ascot Result 20 Oct 2012". Racingpost. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  23. ^ "Longines Hong Kong Vase". Racing Post. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  24. ^ Staff (8 April 2013). "Oaks winner Dancing Rain in foal to Frankel". Racing Post. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Dancing Rain with Frankel foal fetches £4.2m at auction". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  26. ^ Baker, Stephanie. "Thoroughbred Market Booms as Buyers Bank on Pedigree". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  27. ^ "Dancing Rain (IRE)". Mare Produce Report. Equineline. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  28. ^ Staff. "Dancing Rain 5x Pedigree". Retrieved 15 January 2012.