Grandstand Finish in Karaka Cup

2020 Karaka Cup winner Dance Card (NZ) (Savabeel)
2020 Karaka Cup winner Dance Card (NZ) (Savabeel)

Despite featuring a field of only six runners, Saturday’s $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m) produced a heart-stopping finish between two highly talented mares.

Carrying the colours of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Dance Card (NZ) (Savabeel) just edged out Intrigue (NZ) (Showcasing) in a thrilling, head-bobbing finish that drew a loud roar out of the huge Ellerslie crowd.

As is often the case with small fields, the race was a tactical affair from the moment the gates opened up until the point of the home turn.

Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man) set the pace, with Intrigue recovering from a slow start to sit just behind her in third, while Dance Card dropped out to the back of the field.

It was Intrigue and Dance Card who came to the fore at the business end of the race, with Intrigue sneaking through the inside of Sentimental Miss and Dance Card flashing home out wide.

The pair went to the lead together and fought out a stirring finish, which Dance Card won by a nose for Australian-based Kiwi jockey Mick Dee. The rest of the field finished more than three lengths away, headed by Church Road (NZ) (Coats Choice) in third.

Dance Card was a $260,000 purchase from Brighthill Farm’s draft at the 2017 Premier Sale at Karaka.

From 14 starts, Dance Card has now won three races and $88,100 in prize-money, with the promise of a lot more to come.

“It was a really good win,” trainer Lance Noble said. “She’s a promising mare.

“Her last-start run in the Dunstan Stayers’ Championship Final (a close fourth) was a very strong performance, and I think the step back from 2400 to 2200 metres today suited her at this stage of her career. Mick rode her perfectly and she scored a great win.

“I think she’ll be a really nice cups mare next year.”

Vendor Brighthill Farm
Purchaser John Foote Bloodstock (Auckland)
Breeding Savabeel – Dancing Attendance
Sale Lot 113, 2017 Premier Sale, $260,000
Bred by Dowager Duchess of Bedford

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