Dances on Waves continued her march through racing’s grades when she scored an impressive win in the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick today.
One of trainer Gerald Ryan’s favourite horses, Dances on Waves came with a well timed run under top apprentice Brenton Avdulla to beat Group One winner Mentality.
Fellow Magic Millions Yearling Sale graduate Snow Alert filled third place as he prepared for a possible trip to the Gold Coast.
While the minor placegetters ran well, they were no match for the winner who extended her unbeaten run this preparation to three.
Dances on Waves holds a special place in Gerald Ryan’s heart after serious health problems earlier in her career when she nearly died.
Ryan purchased Dances on Waves for $100,000 at the 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale from the draft of Bellerive Stud.
She’s now earned over $230,000 from a handful of starts and importantly she’s a Group Two winning mare with a top pedigree and her residual value is significant.
“She’s going terrific,” Ryan said after the win.
“It’s been well documented about the problems that she’s had. I didn’t think when she kicked off this time in she could win a Villiers at her third run back.”
“She’s kept going forward and forward and forward,” he added.
“The owners talked me into running her on Monday because I was wanting to go to another race.”
“It’s just a fairytale really. It’s great for the owners and it’s great for the horse.”
The ride from likable apprentice Brenton Avdulla was nothing short of outstanding – coming from an outside barrier to guide his charge to victory.
“It was amazing,” Ryan said. “It’s amazing when a kid’s in form – they’re in form.”
“I’ve said for a long time that this kid isn’t far behind the best ones here in Sydney and he’s going the right way.”
Avdulla said he had “no idea” what he was going to do from barrier 17.
“Gerald just said – you know her – you’ve ridden her twice for two wins.”
“I got a nice run through when I needed it and everything turned out. Once I was there I was pretty confident a long way out.”
“I was a bit worried we’d got to the front too soon – but to her credit she’s a class act and she kept going,” Avdulla summed up.
Ryan had the mare among the first acceptances for a couple of races on the $4.3 million Magic Millions raceday on January 15, but said the paddock would not be where Dances on Waves would head.
The Smith family of Durham Lodge in Western Australia were cheering as they now own Dance on Waves’ dam Ancient Lights.
The team from Durham are preparing Dances on Waves’ half brother by Hurricane Sky for February’s Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale.
“He’s a really lovely colt,” Durham Lodge’s Jeremy Smith said. “His full brother made $60,000 earlier this year and he’s in a similar mould.”
“We’ve had a few nice updates since the catalogue as we’ve got a half brother to Karuta Queen in the draft as well.”
“He’s by Show a Heart and he’s an eye catching youngster – a really classy colt.”
“And there’s be no sire in better form over the past couple of months than Blackfriars and we’ve got about by him as well.”
“We’re delighted with the draft and we’re really looking forward to the sale in February,” Smith summed up.
Dances On Waves hails from a quality WA family. Her dam Ancient Lights is a full sister to the Group One winner Ancient Song and half sister to three other stakes performers including Royal Lott and Danzig Beau.
Another of Ancient Lights’ half sister, the city winner Isabo, is the dam of group winner Is Amazing.
Winner: Dances on Waves (Anabaa-Ancient Lights)
Race: AJC Villiers Stakes G2 (1600m)
Sold for: $100,000
Sale: 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale
Vendor: Bellerive Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Gerald Ryan
Owner(s): PB Mullins, Ms DR Keegan, PR Glenister & Mrs A Glenister
Trainer: Gerald Ryan (Rosehill)