Skip to main content

St. John Gray finished first and third in the seventh race at the Vaal on Tuesday over 1400m and although the winner Devilish Dancer (Silvano) was a 25/1 shot and the fast-closing third horse Sound Of Hounds (Bezrin) was the 2/1 favourite the result should not have been that much of a surprise in retrospect.

Devilish Dancer is beautifully bred being out of Gray’s homebred Dancewiththedevil (Modus Vivendi), who defied her unfashionable pedigree to win five Grade 1s including beating the boys twice in the wfa HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and also in the wfa Rising Sun Gold Challenge and the Summer Cup.

Devilish Dancer was clearly backward early in her career and was completely lost on debut around the turn.

However what should have been noticed yesterday was that in her six previous starts she had only run twice down the straight and they had yielded a maiden win (at 66/1 odds) and a decent second in a handicap.

A layoff of seven months before the race was also going to likely have helped the four-year-old filly strengthen and mature.  

She is good looking bay and came from off the pace under Sherman Brown to just get up.

Sound Of Hounds was having his third start and lost his unbeaten record, but only because he was caught flat-footed for a stride or two when asked the question. 

He was eating up the ground in the closing stages and only just failed.

He has plenty of substance and being by an underrated sire out of what must be one of the last active Elliodor mares, the stakes-placed Watta Fox, he is definitely one to follow. 

Picture: Devilish Dancer gets up to beat So They Say (Byword) and Sound Of Hounds on Tuesday over 1400m at the Vaal Straight course. (JC Photos).