Danceteria in the groove for Cambridgeshire

Wed 5 Sep 2018

The prolific Danceteria is one of three potential runners for David Menuisier in the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket on September 29.

The French-born trainer saddled the beaten favourite last year in Thundering Blue and Danceteria carries the same colours of owner Clive Washbourn.

Since finishing down the field on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket in May, the three-year-old has won each of his four starts, following up victory at Sandown with a July Course hat-trick.

The weights for this historic £160,000 nine furlong handicap – the first leg of the Autumn Double – were revealed on Wednesday and Danceteria has been allotted 8st 12lb.

However, Menuisier warns he is not a definite runner, with an appearance on Irish Champions Weekend also under consideration.

He said: “Danceteria is a very versatile horse, I think that the drop back to nine furlongs would not be a problem for him. Going up 10lb for his last win seems fair as he won quite easily and I think he is pretty good so his new mark does not scare me.

“It sounds a bit cheeky, I know, but he might turn out to be even better than Thundering Blue, and they have a similar profile in the way that they are improving, it’s just that Danceteria has got there a year earlier. Danceteria is certainly much more professional and easy to handle.

“Thundering Blue was not beaten by a lack of ability when he was sixth last year, it was just the circumstances of the race, as he was forced to race on his own in no man’s land for a long time. I think Danceteria would handle a bit of bad luck in running more easily than he did.

“But Danceteria is not a certain runner. He is also entered in a race in Ireland on September 16 and I will need to speak to his owner before we make a definite plan.

“It’s possible that he could run in both races, as there are 13 days between them, I wouldn’t write that off as a possibility.”

Menuisier’s other two contenders are History Writer (8st 1lb) and Dragons Voice (7st 12lb).

Both would need to pick up penalties to make into the main race, but those missing the cut will have the opportunity to contest the £50,000 Shadwell Farm Handicap (Silver Cambridgeshire) over the same course and distance the previous day

Menuisier added: “I was hoping History Writer would get in to the Cambridgeshire field by winning at Sandown at the weekend, but unfortunately he appeared not to stay, so I am scratching my head with him at the moment.

“Dragons Voice would need to win again to get into the race and would only run at Newmarket if the ground is good to soft or softer.”

The Cambridgeshire weights are headed on 9st 10lb by the South African Group One winner Whisky Baron, one of three leading contenders for trainer William Haggas alongside Alfarris and Seniority. Haggas also has Original Choice entered in the race.

Other well-known names among a 139-strong entry include Zhui Feng, successful in the 2017 Royal Hunt Cup and twice placed in the Victoria Cup, and the Brian Meehan-trained Spark Plug, now down to a handicap mark of 107, just 3lbs higher than when he prevailed in this race two years ago.

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