Reigning premier harness racing trainer Phillip Ford had to work overtime to get Dance of the Deity's feet in good enough condition to race but the effort paid dividends at Devonport on Sunday night.
Dance of the Deity powered his way to an impressive win in the $25,000 Hardings Hotmix Devonport Cup over 3020 metres.
With the trainer’s nephew Nathan Ford in the sulky, the seven-year-old entire enjoyed the run of the race in the one-out-one-back position and when asked to deliver the stallion cut loose with a powerful sprint to haul in the leaders and went on to score by two metres from Kalypson Kid with Jumpin Jack Jasper over eight metres astern.
“He has chronic feet problems and we had to give him five weeks off before his only lead-up run in Hobart last Sunday,” Phillip Ford said.
“But he has been crying out to win a big one. He ran third in this race last year and was a bit unlucky so we knew he had the ability to win at this level,” he said.
Dance of the Deity is owned by Victorian motor racing identity Gary Rogers who has a lot of horses with the Ford stable.
“Gary (Rogers) has been a big supporter of my stable and we’ve been lucky to win a few good races for him.”
“This race and the Hobart Pacing Cup are the two biggest wins with Gary’s horses,” he said.
Ford said he would not be raising the bar too high for Dance of the Deity.
“We’ll be particular about where we go with this horse. He has good manners and standing starts over longer distances are his go and that probably mean taking him interstate,” he said.