Not a Dancer puts best foot forward

Mar 28, 2012

An eye-catching run by Canberra filly Not a Dancer at Canterbury today will book her place in the listed P. J. Bell Stakes, trainer Matthew Dale says.

Dale pencilled in the $100,000 feature at the start of Not a Dancer's campaign, and only a horror performance in today's benchmark 75 handicap would prevent his charge from lining up in the event at Canterbury on April 13.

The three-year-old has progressed nicely through the grades for Dale, winning five of her eights starts, including a last-start victory at Canterbury.
Advertisement: Story continues below

She returns today over the same journey (1100 metres) and will carry the same weight at Canterbury, with jockey Andrew Stead being asked to carry 56 kilograms after his 3kg claim as an apprentice.

While Dale has no concerns over the weight, he is slightly worried after drawing barrier eight for the sprint.

''At Canterbury you'd always like to draw a bit better but there's a decent amount of speed underneath her [in the barriers], she has good speed naturally also, so she'll roll across and follow a similar pattern and be on the pace,'' Dale said. ''Andrew Stead knows her so we'll leave it to him to see whether we come in behind the speed or takes up the speed.

''Every race is different and obviously it depends on what pace is on in the race … we'll be going forward but we wo

we'll be going forward but we won't be trying to lead at all costs.''

Despite Dale suggesting Not a Dancer would get better with age as she matures, the lightly-raced filly has always shown plenty of promise after winning by seven lengths as a two-year-old at Wagga Wagga last year.

She finished fourth in the group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Caulfield during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and her return campaign has ticked all the boxes, Dale said.

''Her first assignment was the no-metro-wins race which she won last start, and the next assignment her main goal was this listed race in a couple of weeks,'' he said.

''We've worked back from there and this is the ideal race to lead her into that, hence why she had a spaced run, we didn't want to jam another race in between and not have her at her best.

''Naturally we'll reassess after the race, but that's the whole reason we've waited a month between runs now, to have her hopefully primed going into the three-year-old black-type race in a couple of weeks.''

Read more: