Tuite hoping for happy ending in Dancealot tale
Madam Dancealot: Group 3 winner to be offered at Goffs Champions Sale
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Tuite hoping for happy ending in Dancealot tale
By James Thomas 11:56AM 10 SEP 2016
A NEW chapter in one of the year's best rags-to-riches stories is set to be written at the Goffs Champions Sale at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Madam Dancealot has already proved herself one of the season's shrewdest purchases, with her trainer Joe Tuite picking the Group 3-winning filly up at the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Breeze-Up after she had been led out of the ring unsold at just £5,000.
Tuite explains where the story began. "I liked her before the sale but didn't bid on her on the day because of her breeze. Having left the sale I got a phone call from an owner to go back as he'd bought the second-last lot through the ring, and when I went back I bumped into [Tally-Ho Stud's] Roger O'Callaghan who persuaded me to buy her."
The O'Callaghans' fingerprints are all over the Madam Prancealot tale, having bred the filly from their stallion Sir Prancealot, who is now long odds-on for this year's freshman sires' title.
"The only reason I bought her was because I was dealing with Roger," continues Tuite. "I like Tally-Ho and I've been successful with them in the past so we did a deal."
However, once the trainer had his new purchase back in his Lambourn yard, quite what a bargain he'd got wasn't immediately evident.
"I thought she was average to start with," says Tuite. "I sold her on for the same deal we did at the sales. Basically, the day after I sold her she started to improve and she hasn't stopped improving since."
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There was no disguising Madam Dancealot's talents once she hit the track, as she finished a close second to subsequent Group 2 winner Mehmas on debut in a Chester maiden which has thrown up a further four winners, including Listed scorer Vona.
"Stewart Brown who bought her lives up by Chester and the whole deal was done on her running there. The week before the race I knew I had a nice filly on my hands so we were quietly confident but we just met a very good horse on the day. With the way the form of that race worked out, I knew we had an angle to send her to the Goffs London Sale and that's what I advised the owner to do."
Things could scarcely have gone better for Tuite at the sale, as Madam Dancealot brought £100,000 when selling to Olivia Hoare, who then agreed to keep the filly in training with Tuite.
"We sold very well at the London Sale and I was very lucky that she was bought by a lovely lady in Olivia Hoare, whose agent Luke Lillingston advised her to leave Madam Dancealot with me," says Tuite.
"It didn't happen for us at Royal Ascot but next time out she won a fillies' maiden at Newbury in good style and the form of that race worked out very well too."
Hoare's faith in Madam Dancealot and her trainer were rewarded when the filly ran out a comfortable winner of the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury. That was Tuite's first Group winner as a trainer – no mean feat with a filly that cost next to nothing.
"You're always trying to fly the flag and winning Group races is where you want to end up and very few horses end up doing it, so it was very nice," Tuite says.
"I love Salisbury racecourse too. It looked a competitive race but I couldn't see her being out of the first three and we backed her accordingly! We set out with a plan and Tom [Queally] executed it perfectly."
Victory also qualified Madam Dancealot for a tilt at the Breeders' Cup, which has piqued the interest of transatlantic buyers.
"There seems to be plenty of interest from America," says Tuite.
"If the right money comes that's probably where she'll end up going, but she won't be given away.
"It's a special sale. How often does a Group winner come up for auction nine days after it's race with the potential to go onto better things?
"If she doesn't fetch the money that we hope we're going to get, she'll come home and I still have a Group winner in my yard to get on with. I'm in a win-win position."
What could be a happy ending for Tuite's part in the Madam Dancealot story will unfold when the sale takes place before racing at Leopardstownon Saturday afternoon.
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