Dance Time gets prime opportunity
By Jonny Turner
Punters should forget Dance Time’s last start and take a line through his previous effort at the New Zealand Cup Carnival when assessing his winning chances at Palmerston North on Tuesday.
The Steve and Amanda Telfer trained six-year-old heads south after a disappointing fourth in a highly competitive four-horse race at Alexandra Park late last month.
Steve Telfer put the performance down to the horse ending up in his least favoured position, sitting parked.
With that clear excuse for the performance, Dance Time’s prior fourth placing behind Vintage Cheddar in junior free-for-all company on Show Day at Addington is the true guide to his chances when he freefalls down in grade in race 5.
“Anywhere is good for him, except parked,” Steve Telfer said.
“When he gets left parked he over-races and gets a bit keen.”
“He has trained on since then and his work has been strong.”
“It is a bit of a drop back in class, probably the biggest problem will be negating the Palmy (Palmerston North) track from the back row.”
Dance Time lines up from barrier five on the second line for driver Benjamin Butcher in Tuesday’s 2000m mobile event.
Though that draw will not make race 5 a simple assignment for the pair, Dance Time gets a massive chance to bounce back to winning form considering his class.
“His last run hasn’t flattened him, he has trained on strongly,” Telfer said.
“He will get his chance, there look to be good races for him on both days at Palmy this week.”
The Telfer barn has power in numbers in Tuesday’s feature pace with Cruzee Mach and Sarandon also starting in the event.
Cruzee Mach, who starts alongside Dance Time in barrier four on the second row, was a strong winner of his last start at Palmerston North.
The four-year-old does not have the same kind of class as his stablemate but is still expected to go another good race.
“He is a lovely horse, he can sprint, he can stay, he can do everything, but he is not a top-liner,” Telfer said.
“He will put himself in the race, but Dance Time has more speed.”
“That is the thing that separates them.”
Dance Time opened at a $2.40 win price when fixed odds markets opened for race 5.
Bookmakers rated Warloch ($3.30) and Eagle Watch ($4.40) as the hardest horses for the six-year-old to hold out.
Cruzee Mach opened at $16 odds, with Sarandon out at $31.
The Telfer stable also starts Ace Strike in race 6 after he went a strong race when sitting parked throughout and running fourth behind Eagle Watch in his last start at Palmerston North.
The five-year-old looks an excellent eachway chance at his $14 opening price.
“He has drawn handy in three, he has got gate speed, but there is speed inside him,” Telfer said.
“Especially from 1 (Peter Fosberg).”
“It doesn’t really matter if he leads, just so long as he is handy.”
“He can do a bit of work and kick on, so the draw certainly favours him.”
“I thought his training was good on Saturday before he left.”
Johnny Mac opened the equal favourite for race 6 at $3.50 odds alongside The Greatest Showman.
Johnny Mac is one of five opening favourites on Tuesday’s eight-race card for trainer Michael House.
The others include Midnight In Memphis in race 1 ($2.20), Sir Brigadoon in race 3 ($1.70), She’s A Dagg in race 4 ($2.30) and Boilover in race 7 ($2.60).