Aided by a masterful Opie Bosson ride, Chance To Dance holds out Mime to win the OMF Stakes at Ellerslie.
Chance To Dance bounced back from a Livamol Classic disappointment to score a strong victory in today’s Gr. 3 OMF Stakes at Ellerslie.
The eight-year-old Teofilo gelding had emerged as a leading Livamol threat when he made a winning New Zealand debut in the Listed Karaka Classic in late September, but after a wide run in the Hastings feature he dropped out and beat just one runner home.
Today it was a very different story as Chance To Dance sat in a perfect position just behind the leaders in a tactically run 2000-metre race, poised to pounce when the speed went on.
A gap appeared in the straight and Opie Bosson drove his mount through it, moving up alongside Mime and Authentic Paddy and fighting them off to win by a long neck.
Bred in Ireland and previously owned by Lloyd Williams, who won his sixth Melbourne Cup at Flemington this afternoon, Chance To Dance was bought for A$260,000 at a Sydney sale in March.
In four starts for his new owners the Fortuna Chance To Dance Syndicate, Chance To Dance has collected two black-type victories and more than $125,000 in prize-money.
“It was a lovely win,” co-trainer Jamie Richards told www.theinformant.co.nz. “It was a 10-out-of-10 ride from Opie. Things went his way in the run, but I thought the others had their chance to beat him in the straight and he toughed it out.
“We were scratching our heads a bit after the Livamol, but he got back home after the race and bounced back really well. His work had been very good.
“We put blinkers on for today, which sharpened him up a bit, and this was a great result for the owners.
“As for where we go next with him, we’ll just let the dust settle first. The Zabeel Classic over the same course and distance on Boxing Day looks an ideal race for him, it’s just how we get there. We’ll talk to John (Galvin, syndicator) and make a plan.”
Today’s win could be the start of an enormous week for Richards and his Te Akau training partner Stephen Autridge. On Saturday at Riccarton they will be represented by strong contenders Embellish, Te Akau Shark and Age Of Fire in the $500,000 Gr. 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas, while at Flemington stable star Gingernuts will take on the A$2 million Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes.
Livamol Classic winner Wait A Sec was the biggest disappointment in today's OMF Stakes. Unsuited to the slow tempo of the race, he sat at the rear of the field and could only run on into eighth place.