Eight-year-old WA-bred pacer Fanci A Dance has turned the corner after proving extremely frustrating for his breeder-owner-trainer Barry Howlett for several years when he frequently disappointed by breaking in running.
Fanci A Dance was seen at his best when Chris Voak drove him to a strong victory in the 2536m Rock N Roll World Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Starting favourite at $3.30, Fanci A Dance was given a perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position, with $4.60 chance The Verandah setting the pace and Valentines Brook ($8.50) in the breeze.
Fanci A Dance finished full of running as he surged to the front with 100m to travel before beating the fast-finishing Caveman ($7) by a half-length at a 1.58.4 rate.
“He had stifle lock really bad,” said Howlett. “And, eventually, being sick of the horse being sent back to trials I decided on surgery about six months ago. Since the surgery he has become a different horse, not breaking up. I probably should have had this done two or three years ago.”
A horse’s stifle on his back legs is somewhat similar to a human knee, though a stifle is made up of three separate joints. Surgery entails cutting the ligament that catches the femur.
“Fanci A Dance has always had the ability, but he kept breaking in races,” said Howlett. “The problem was there right from his very first start.” Fanci A Dance made his debut in a race at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on June 27, 2015, when he broke into a gallop 150m after the start and dropped back to last. He was still last approaching the home turn before finishing strongly, out five wide to finish third behind Johnny Disco.
Fanci A Dance is by the American stallion Rock N Roll Heaven and is out of the Queensland-bred Fake Left mare Fancipance, who raced 129 times in Queensland for 11 wins and 38 placings before ending her career in WA in 2007 with ten starts for one win and a third placing.
Friday night’s long-overdue victory ended a losing sequence of 15 over a 32-month period. His previous success was in a C5/C9 event at Gloucester Park on October 26, 2018. Howlett has never lost faith in the black gelding who now has earned $84,857 from 11 wins and 15 placings from 49 starts.
by Ken Casellas