Danehill Dancer

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Danehill Dancer was a bay horse bred by L. K. and K. McCreery and foaled on 20 January 1993.[1] He was sired by Danehill, who won the Haydock Sprint Cup in 1989. After retiring from racing Danehill became a leading stallion and was champion sire in Great Britain and Ireland, Australia and France. Amongst his best progeny are Dylan Thomas, Duke of Marmalade, Fastnet Rock, George Washington, North Light, Oratorio and Rock of Gibraltar.[2] Danehill Dancer's dam is Mira Adonde, a daughter of Sharpen Up.[1] Mira Adonde was trained by Alec Stewart, but only raced once, finishing seventh in a seven-furlong maiden race at Newmarket.[3]

Danehill Dancer, who stood 15.3 hands (1.63 m) high,[4] was put up for auction at the Goffs sale in October 1994. He was bought by for 38,000 Irish pounds by the bloodstock agent Dermot "Demi" O'Byrne[5] on behalf of Michael Tabor and put into training with Neville Callaghan at Newmarket.[6]

Racing career[edit]

1995: Two-year-old season[edit]

Leopardstown Racecourse, where Danehill Dancer won the Phoenix Stakes

Danehill Dancer made his racecourse debut on 13 July 1995 in a six-furlong maiden race at Newmarket, where he was ridden by Pat Eddery and won the race by one length from Raheen.[1] Danehill Dancer then raced at the top level, when one month later he contested the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. Ridden again by Eddery, he started as the 2/1 favourite and won the race, beating Woodborough by a neck.[7] After his win in the Phoenix Stakes, Dancehill Dancer started as the odds-on favourite for the National Stakes. Racing over seven furlongs for the first time, Eddery held him up near the rear of the field in the early stages. He drifted right in the penultimate furlong, but as they entered the final furlong he took the lead and ran on to win the race, beating the runner-up Polaris Flight by one-and-a-half lengths.[8] Danehill Dancer's final race of the season came in the Dewhurst Stakes, in a small, but select field. The 4/7 favourite was Alhaarth, who was unbeaten and had won the Champagne Stakes on his previous start. Dancehill Dancer was the 2/1 second favourite, with the Prix Morny winner Tagula at 13/2 and Albaha the 100/1 outsider. Albaha led the field in the early stages, with Danehill Dancer in third place. Alhaarth took the lead three furlongs out and was followed by Danehill Dancer, but Danehill Dancer could not close down the lead of Alhaarth in the final furlong and finished in second place, two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner.[9] At the end of the season, Danehill Dancer was named champion 2-year-old colt in Ireland.[10]

1996: Three-year-old season[edit]

Danehill Dancer made his first racecourse appearance as a three-year-old on 20 April 1996 in the Greenham Stakes. Starting as the even money favourite, he took the lead of the race with over one furlong still to run and went to win by one-and-a-half lengths from Kahir Almaydan, with Tagula finishing in third place.[11] On 4 May, Danehill Dancer was one of thirteen colts to contest the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket. Alhaarth started the race as the 2/1 favourite, with Danehill Dancer starting at the price of 10/1. After the start, the field split into two groups, with jockey Mick Kinane positioning Danehill Dancer at the rear of the group racing down the centre of the track. Kinane tried to get Danehill Dancer to close the gap to the leaders over two furlongs out, but he stayed at the same pace, finishing in sixth place, about nine lengths behind winner Mark of Esteem, who beat Even Top and Bijou D'Inde in a close finish.[12] Eight days later, Danehill Dancer finished ninth out of the ten runners in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. Odds-on favourite Ashkalani won the race, beating Spinning World by half a length.[13]

Danehill Dancer dropped back in distance for the six-furlong July Cup on 11 July. After being behind in the early stages he stayed on to finish in fifth place behind winner Anabaa.[14] Danehill Dancer was an outsider in the betting for the Prix Maurice de Gheest, for which Anabaa started as a short-price favourite. Danehill Dancer was ridden by Ray Cochrane for the only time in his career, who positioned him at the back of the pack. By the time the field reached two furlongs from the finish, Danehill Dancer had made progress and took second place. He could not reach winner Anabaa and lost second place to Miesque's Son near the winning line, finishing in third place.[15] Danehill Dancer's final race of the season was the Haydock Sprint Cup, where he was once again ridden by Pat Eddery. After chasing the leaders in the early stages, he soon lost his position and eventually finished in last place of the eleven runners behind winner Iktamal.[16]

1997: Four-year-old season[edit]

Danehill Dancer stayed in training as a four-year-old, but his only race of the season came in the Duke of York Stakes on 15 May. After chasing the leaders in the early stages he could not keep pace with them and finished seventh of the ten runners, approximately four-and-a-half lengths behind winner Royal Applause.[17] During his racing career, Danehill Dancer won a total of £212,559 in prize money.[1] He then traveled to Australia to stand as a stallion for Coolmore (which Michael Tabor is involved with) during the 1997 Southern Hemisphere breeding season.[18]

Race record[edit]

Date Race name Distance (F) Course Class Prize Odds Runners Place Margin (L) Winner/Runner-up Time Jockey Ref.
13 July 1995 EBF Maiden Stakes 6 Newmarket X4Class 4 005 £4,980 01.75 7/4 077 011 01.01 Raheen 1:15.90 Pat Eddery [19]
13 August 1995 Phoenix Stakes 6 Leopardstown G1 084 £83,663 02.00 2/1 1010 011 00.250.25 Woodborough 1:14.60 Pat Eddery [7]
16 September 1995 National Stakes 7 Curragh G1 058 £58,317 00.80 4/5 077 011 01.51.5 Polaris Flight 1:24.10 Pat Eddery [8]
13 October 1995 Dewhurst Stakes 7 Newmarket G1 082 £82,390 02.00 2/1 044 022 02.52.5 Alhaarth 1:24.64 Pat Eddery [9]
20 April 1996 Greenham Stakes 7 Newbury G3 020 £19,860 01.00 Evens 088 011 01.51.5 Kahir Almaydan 1:30.18 Pat Eddery [11]
4 May 1996 2000 Guineas Stakes 8 Newmarket G1 122 £122,262 10.0010/1 1313 066 09.259.25 Mark of Esteem 1:37.59 Mick Kinane [12]
12 May 1996 Poule d'Essai des Poulains 8 Longchamp G1 131 £131,752 14.0014/1 1010 099 08.258.25 Ashkalani 1:37.60 Richard Hughes [13]
11 July 1996 July Cup 6 Newmarket G1 091 £90,588 07.007/1 1010 055 04.754.75 Anabaa 1:10.63 Mick Kinane [14]
11 August 1996 Prix Maurice de Gheest 6.5 Deauville G1 066 £65,876 29.0029/1 099 033 01.751.75 Anabaa 1:19.00 Ray Cochrane [15]
7 September 1996 Haydock Sprint Cup 6 Haydock Park G1 077 £77,249 07.007/1 1111 1111 1414 Iktamal 1:09.92 Pat Eddery [16]
15 May 1997 Duke of York Stakes 6 York G3 028 £28,400 06.006/1 1010 077 04.754.75 Royal Applause 1:12.13 Pat Eddery [17]

Note: F = Furlongs, L = Lengths

Stud career[edit]

Danehill Dancer was retired to stand as a stallion at Coolmore Stud in 1997, with his stud fee initially set at Ir£4,000, and he traveled to stand at Coolmore's Australian stud for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.[6][18] Danehill Dancer sired three Group 1 winners from his 1999 foals.[20][21] Danehill Dancer did not produce any horses that scored at the top level for a few seasons until Speciosa in 2003.[22] Danehill Dancer's 2004 crop included five major winners,[23][24] and his 2005 progeny included three more.[24]

Danehill Dancer's daughter Dancing Rain after winning the Oaks

The stallion's next crop of foals included three more top-class winners[24] including Mastercraftsman who became a very successful breeding stallion.[25] He earned the title of champion sire of Great Britain and Ireland in 2009.[26] In 2007, by which time his fee had risen to €115,000,[6] Danehill Dancer produced another five Group or Grade 1 winners.[24] His 2008 crop included Dancing Rain.[27] In 2010 Danehill Dancer was one of Europe's four most expensive sires.[28] That year he produced three more major winners including Esoterique.[29] His 2012 fee was 60,000[30] and his 2013 fee was reduced to €40,000.[31]

From 2010, Danehill Dancer's fertility began to decline. He did not get any mares in foal during 2014, and was subsequently retired from stud duty. Following his retirement Christy Grassick, a Coolmore manager, said: "Starting out at a lowly fee he continually upgraded his mares and ultimately became a major force in European and Australian breeding."[26] As well as being champion sire in 2009, Danehill Dancer has also been the leading sire of two-year-olds on three occasions.[26]

As of 28 May 2014, when he was retired from stud duty he had sired 82 Group or Grade race winners.[32]

Danehill Dancer was euthanised in March 2017 at the age of 24 "due to the infirmities of old age".[33]

Major winners[edit]

c = colt, f = filly, g = gelding

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
1999 Choisir c Lightning Stakes, King's Stand Stakes, Golden Jubilee Stakes
1999 Where Or When c Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
1999 Private Steer f Stradbroke Handicap, Doncaster Handicap, All Aged Stakes
2003 Speciosa f 1000 Guineas
2004 Miss Beatrix f Moyglare Stud Stakes
2004 Risky Business g Singapore Gold Cup
2004 Light Fantastic g Cadbury Guineas
2004 Arapaho Miss f Crown Oaks
2004 Alexander Tango f Garden City Handicap
2005 Atomic Force g The Galaxy, Railway Stakes
2005 Super Satin g Hong Kong Derby
2006 Mastercraftsman c Phoenix Stakes, National Stakes, Irish 2000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes
2006 Again f Moyglare Stud Stakes, Irish 1000 Guineas
2006 Ave f Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes
2007 Lillie Langtry f Coronation Stakes, Matron Stakes
2007 Unaccompanied f Spring Juvenile Hurdle, Istabraq Festival Hurdle
2007 Alfred Nobel c Phoenix Stakes
2007 Planteur c Prix Ganay
2007 Steps In Time c Coolmore Classic
2008 Dancing Rain f Epsom Oaks, Preis der Diana
2010 Esoterique f Prix Rothschild, Prix Jacques le Marois, Sun Chariot Stakes
2010 Hillstar c Canadian International Stakes
2010 Here Comes When g Sussex Stakes
2012 Legatissimo f 1000 Guineas, Nassau Stakes, Matron Stakes
2013 Qemah f Coronation Stakes, Prix Rothschild

Sire of sires[edit]

At least three of Danehill Dancer's sons have sired Group 1 winners:


Pedigree of Danehill Dancer (IRE), bay stallion, 1993[35]
Danehill (USA)
b. 1986
Danzig (USA)
b. 1977
Northern Dancer
b. 1961
Pas de Nom
b. 1968
Admiral's Voyage
Razyana (USA)
b. 1981
His Majesty
b. 1968
Flower Bowl
Spring Adieu
b. 1974
Mira Adonde (USA)
b. 1986
Sharpen Up (GB)
ch. 1969
ch. 1961
Native Dancer
Mixed Marriage
ch. 1961
Lettre d'Amour (USA)
gr. 1979
gr. 1967
Fortino II
gr. 1971
Dancer's Image
Leven Ones

Note: b. = Bay, ch. = Chestnut, gr. = Grey

* Danehill Dancer is inbred 4×4 to Natalma. This means that the mare appears twice in the fourth generation of his pedigree.


  1. ^ a b c d "Danehill Dancer". Racing Post. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Danehill | Stud Record". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  3. ^ "Mira Adonde". Racing Post. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  4. ^ "Stallions :: Danehill Dancer". Coolmore. Archived from the original on 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  5. ^ "Goffs - Racing Post".
  6. ^ a b c "Danehill Dancer retired from covering duties". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  7. ^ a b "Phoenix Stakes result". Racing Post. 13 August 1995. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  8. ^ a b "National Stakes result". Racing Post. 16 September 1995. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  9. ^ a b "Dewhurst Stakes result". Racing Post. 13 October 1995. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  10. ^ Name: (2014-05-28). "Top Sire Danehill Dancer Pensioned". Paulick Report. Retrieved 2014-08-17.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  11. ^ a b "Greenham Stakes result". Racing Post. 20 April 1996. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  12. ^ a b "2000 Guineas Stakes result". Racing Post. 4 May 1996. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  13. ^ a b "Poule d'Essai des Poulains result". Racing Post. 12 May 1996. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  14. ^ a b "July Cup result". Racing Post. 11 July 1996. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  15. ^ a b "Prix Maurice de Gheest result". Racing Post. 11 August 1996. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  16. ^ a b "Haydock Sprint Cup result". Racing Post. 7 September 1996. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  17. ^ a b "Duke of York Stakes result". Racing Post. 15 May 1997. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  18. ^ a b "The name's Bond". Thoroughbredinternet.com. 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  19. ^ "Results From The 4.45 Race At Newmarket". Racing Post. 13 July 1995. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  20. ^ "Private Steer". Racing Post. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  21. ^ "Where Or When". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  22. ^ "Speciosa". Racing Post. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  23. ^ "Alexander Tango Dies at Farm". BloodHorse.com. 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  24. ^ a b c d "Danehill Dancer". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  25. ^ "Mastercraftsman". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  26. ^ a b c "Danehill Dancer retired". Coolmore. 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  27. ^ "Dancing Rain". Racing Post. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  28. ^ de Moubray, Jocelyn (3 May 2010). "Are the right criteria used to judge new sires?". The Racing Post. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  29. ^ Lewyn, Myra (2014-08-03). "Esoterique Springs Upset in Prix Rothschild". Blood-Horse. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  30. ^ "Danehill Dancer". Racing Post. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  31. ^ "Irish Stallions: Danehill Dancer". Coolmore Stud. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  32. ^ "Report Says Sire Danehill Dancer Pensioned". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  33. ^ Eric Mitchell (13 March 2017). "Danehill Dancer Euthanized Due to Old Age". The Blood Horse.
  34. ^ "Choisir". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
  35. ^ "Danehill Dancer (IRE) pedigree". Equineline. Retrieved 22 September 2012.