Day At The Track

Dancing With Mach is on song

08:37 PM 13 Feb 2020 NZDT
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Dancing With Mach
Dancing With Mach
Gloucester Park Photo

Five-year-old Dancing With Mach has inherited some of the ability of her dam Party Date and she has bright prospects of leading her harness racing rivals on a merry dance and winning the $30,000 Lewis Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

It would be a fitting victory for the Barry Howlett-trained mare who will be driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, after whom this feature event for fillies and mares is named.

Dancing With Mach is a good frontrunner and Lewis is sure to be keen to take full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier. Dancing With Mach impressed four starts ago when she set the pace from barrier two and won by a length and a half from Delightful Mandy over 2265m at Albany.

Dancing With Mach started from the No. 2 barrier in a 2130m event last Friday night when her nose appeared to hit the arm of the mobile barrier a split second before the start.

This caused the mare to become unbalanced for a moment and she was left in the breeze outside the polemarker Bettor Pack It before she was shuffled back to sixth position, one-out and two-back. Dancing With Mach, fifth at the 400m mark, unwound a spirited burst to take a narrow lead 15m from the post, but was overhauled in the final stride and beaten by the fast-finishing Parisian Partygirl.

Dancing With Mach is bred to be a good winner, with her dam Party Date earning $256,003 from 25 wins and 27 placings from 111 starts. Party Date finished third behind Te Kanarama and Lombo Fe Fe in the Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park in February 2004, three months before she won the Group 3 Ladyship Cup at Moonee Valley.

Party Date has produced seven winners, with Dancing With Mach earning $45,148 from seven wins and nine placings from 27 starts. Her other progeny include Bettor Party (38 wins, 52 placings and $314,182 from 190 starts) and Rocknroll Whitby (91 starts for 12 wins, 12 placings and $151,480). She is also the dam of Pierre Whitby, a four-year-old gelding who has sound each-way prospects in race two, the 2536m Mexican March Madness at the Beau Rivage Pace on Friday night.

Bettor Pack It, who finished a close third behind Parisian Partygirl and Dancing With Mach last Friday night, will start from the inside of the back line this week and should enjoy a soft run on the pegs for Chris Voak and certainly is capable of fighting out the finish.

Other mares with sound each-way claims in what appears to be a very even field include Tajie Baby, Fulfil The Dream, Countess Grace, Mary Joan and American Delight.

Tajie Baby is a speedy beginner and Lindsay Harper is likely to attempt to send the eight-year-old veteran of 114 starts to the front from barrier five. She ended a sequence of nine unplaced efforts when she enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing solidly to be second to While They Pray over 1730m on Tuesday of last week.

Four-year-old Fulfil The Dream, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for trainer Justin Prentice, gave a solid frontrunning display to win from Gunna Get Lucky over 2536m on Tuesday of last week. However, she will need a shade of luck to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight.

By Ken Casellas

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