THURSDAY: October 21, 2021: IT was a home track winner long-standing Hawkesbury trainer Terry Croft wouldn’t have expected a fortnight ago – and he wasn’t taking credit either.
Croft clinched his second winner of the season today when lightly-raced filly Hot Dancing put up a splendid performance to break through in the Lander Toyota Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1300m) at only her third start.
The aptly-named three-year-old daughter of Sizzling, along with a number of Hobartville Stud horses raced by Grahame Mapp, recently came under his care when RacingNSW stewards put fellow long-standing Hawkesbury trainer Garry White’s licence on hold pending determination of a charge.
“Obviously I’m pleased to win with this filly, but I’m not taking credit,” Croft said this evening.
“I’m just doing what I have to do to help out Garry and Mr Mapp.”
Hot Dancing ($9.50) overcame difficulties to come from last and toss $1.80 favorite Adelinda and Grand Palazzo ($6.50).
Stewards afterwards reported the filly had to be eased from the heels of another runner (Vanilli, $4.80) passing the 1100m when racing keenly, and again in the middle stages when continuing to race keenly.
As a consequence, Hot Dancing had to be shifted out and raced wide and without cover for the remainder of the race.
They also reported she shifted in under pressure near the 200m, forcing rider Rachel King to change whip arms.
In the circumstances, Hot Dancing’s victory – which followed fourths on debut over 900m at Newcastle on September 4 and at Orange over 1000m 16 days later – was full of merit.
Croft, however, does not intend to push the filly much further in her initial campaign.
“Most likely, we will give her only one more start in a couple of weeks and then spell her,” he said.
“She is a bit light at present, and no doubt will get stronger and handle up to 1600m later on.”
Hot Dancing is the only foal of her dam, the Dane Shadow mare Sonata Song, whose two victories were both at Hawkesbury in 2016 when prepared by White, and she was ridden by his then 4kg claiming apprentice Ashleigh Borg.
. Jockey Sam Clipperton fell foul of stewards after the Belle Property Hawkesbury F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).
He rode $3.30 favorite Capri Of Tuffy, which finished second, and was suspended on an alleged careless riding charge.
Clipperton’s suspension will begin on Sunday and expire on Friday, October 29, meaning he will be clear to ride at the Golden Eagle meeting at Rosehill Gardens the following day.