The praise could hardly be any more glittering for Dancing Star at this stage of her three-year-old career.
Following her success in a Newmarket handicap last time, trainer Andrew Balding declared that at the same age, the filly is faster than the legendary Lochsong, who was voted the 1993 European horse of the year following multiple Group 1 victories.
However, the legendary sprinter’s achievements were additionally impressive the year previous, when accomplishing the rare sprint treble of the Stewards’ Cup, Portland Handicap and Ayr Gold Cup.
Dancing Star was bred at the same Littleton stud as Lochsong by Jeff Smith and is now being aimed at the first step of the same sprint treble over 6f at Glorious Goodwood.
The interesting difference between the two females is that Lochsong was aged four when Willie Carson was riding her to Steward’s Cup victory, with Dancing Star a year younger.
This is significant, as prior to last year, 21 three-year-olds had contested the Steward’s Cup in the decade previous and all of them had finished unplaced.
Magical Memory was the sole three-year-old in the field 12 months ago and became the first winner from this age group since Danetime in 1997.
The current betting places Dancing Star as the 7/1 second favourite, with Orion’s Bow at the head of the market after completing a five-timer in the Scottish Steward’s Cup on his most recent start.
Notably, Balding’s filly is still not guaranteed a run, placed at 50 in the present Steward’s Cup line-up. The pending withdrawals of Outback Traveller and Golden Steps at least move her closer to making the final field, which is restricted to a maximum of 28 runners.
Dancing Star has always showed signs of being a future Group horse and her trainer’s latest comments suggest a Group 1 career is far from unrealistic. If this is true, she has to be expected to go well at Goodwood if taking part.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.