Danehill Dancer was a bay horse bred by L. K. and K. McCreery and foaled on 20 January 1993. 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. Danehill Dancer's dam is Mira Adonde, a daughter of Sharpen Up. Mira Adonde was trained by Alec Stewart, but only raced once, finishing seventh in a seven-furlong maiden race at Newmarket.
Danehill Dancer, who stood 15.3 hands (1.63 m) high, 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 on behalf of Michael Tabor and put into training with Neville Callaghan at Newmarket.
1995: Two-year-old season
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. 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. 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. 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. At the end of the season, Danehill Dancer was named champion 2-year-old colt in Ireland.
1996: Three-year-old season
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
1997: Four-year-old season
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. During his racing career, Danehill Dancer won a total of £212,559 in prize money. 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.
|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||Class 4||£4,980||7/4||7||1||1||Raheen||1:15.90||Pat Eddery|||
|13 August 1995||Phoenix Stakes||6||Leopardstown||G1||£83,663||2/1||10||1||0.25||Woodborough||1:14.60||Pat Eddery|||
|16 September 1995||National Stakes||7||Curragh||G1||£58,317||4/5||7||1||1.5||Polaris Flight||1:24.10||Pat Eddery|||
|13 October 1995||Dewhurst Stakes||7||Newmarket||G1||£82,390||2/1||4||2||2.5||Alhaarth||1:24.64||Pat Eddery|||
|20 April 1996||Greenham Stakes||7||Newbury||G3||£19,860||Evens||8||1||1.5||Kahir Almaydan||1:30.18||Pat Eddery|||
|4 May 1996||2000 Guineas Stakes||8||Newmarket||G1||£122,262||10/1||13||6||9.25||Mark of Esteem||1:37.59||Mick Kinane|||
|12 May 1996||Poule d'Essai des Poulains||8||Longchamp||G1||£131,752||14/1||10||9||8.25||Ashkalani||1:37.60||Richard Hughes|||
|11 July 1996||July Cup||6||Newmarket||G1||£90,588||7/1||10||5||4.75||Anabaa||1:10.63||Mick Kinane|||
|11 August 1996||Prix Maurice de Gheest||6.5||Deauville||G1||£65,876||29/1||9||3||1.75||Anabaa||1:19.00||Ray Cochrane|||
|7 September 1996||Haydock Sprint Cup||6||Haydock Park||G1||£77,249||7/1||11||11||14||Iktamal||1:09.92||Pat Eddery|||
|15 May 1997||Duke of York Stakes||6||York||G3||£28,400||6/1||10||7||4.75||Royal Applause||1:12.13||Pat Eddery|||
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. Danehill Dancer sired three Group 1 winners from his 1999 foals. Danehill Dancer did not produce any horses that scored at the top level for a few seasons until Speciosa in 2003. Danehill Dancer's 2004 crop included five major winners, and his 2005 progeny included three more.
The stallion's next crop of foals included three more top-class winners including Mastercraftsman who became a very successful breeding stallion. He earned the title of champion sire of Great Britain and Ireland in 2009. In 2007, by which time his fee had risen to €115,000, Danehill Dancer produced another five Group or Grade 1 winners. His 2008 crop included Dancing Rain. In 2010 Danehill Dancer was one of Europe's four most expensive sires. That year he produced three more major winners including Esoterique. His 2012 fee was €60,000 and his 2013 fee was reduced to €40,000.
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." As well as being champion sire in 2009, Danehill Dancer has also been the leading sire of two-year-olds on three occasions.
As of 28 May 2014, when he was retired from stud duty he had sired 82 Group or Grade race winners.
Sire of sires
At least three of Danehill Dancer's sons have sired Group 1 winners:
- Choisir sired Olympic Glory, The Last Lion, Starspangledbanner Sacred Choice (Doncaster Handicap) and Obviously (Shoemaker Mile Stakes, Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint).
- Mastercraftsman sired Kingston Hill, The Grey Gatsby and Amazing Maria
- Fast Company, sired Jet Setting
|Pas de Nom
Mira Adonde (USA)
|Sharpen Up (GB)
|Lettre d'Amour (USA)
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