ON a top-class card at Naas two days into this year, the concluding Rushe’s Supervalu (Pro/Am) Flat Race was won in impressive style by Impulsive Dancer.

The four-year-old son of the Irish National Stud’s Dragon Pulse (Kyllachy), standing for €2,000 this year, was racing for the Listowel-based Sheahan family’s syndicate, and he readily justified the €8,500 yearling sale price he realised.

Impressive Dancer was purchased at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale by his trainer Richard O’Brien, and that was a disappointment for the breeders who saw him led out unsold for double that amount as a foal at the same venue. Following his win at Naas, leading owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede swooped to buy the gelding, and he moved to Willie Mullins.

At Limerick on Sunday, and now trained by Willie Mullins, Impulsive Dancer caused an upset when beating his more fancied stable companion Mercurey into third, and this was in the Listed Kevin McManus Bookmaker INH Flat Race. The gelding is already being quoted for the Cheltenham Festival in 2023.

Exceptional line

Impulsive Dancer is from an exceptional female line, one with many connections to Jim Bolger. He is the best of three winners for his Montjeu (Sadler’s Wells) dam Viennese Whirl, who failed to show any real ability in five starts.

Sold as a five-year-old for 100,000gns, four years later she was again traded at Tattersalls, this time for 4,000gns. The following spring she was sent to be covered by Dragon Pulse, and Impulsive Dancer is the result.

A look at the grandam of Impulsive Dancer will show just how values can plunge. She is the Group 3 Noblesse Stakes winner Danelissima (Danehill) who sold later that year for 470,000gns, and her early suitors included Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer). To that Coolmore multiple champion she produced the Group 2-placed Fergus McIver. Five years ago, having produced a second winner, she was sold for 1,500gns!

Danelissima is one of 10 winners from the dual listed winner Zavaleta (Kahyasi), and that mare’s sole stakes winner. However, Danelissima’s full-sister Daneleta (Danehill), who was group-placed at two, is the dam of the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner Intense Focus (Giant’s Causeway) and grandam of the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Skitter Scatter (Scat Daddy).


Ten winners is quite an achievement for any mare to produce, and Zavaleta was simply replicating what her own dam, La Meilleure (Lord Gayle), had done. However, that listed winner’s tally had four stakes winners among their number, and these also included Sholokhov (Sadler’s Wells) and Affianced (Erins Isle).

The former was a Group 1 winning juvenile and runner-up in both the Eclipse Stakes and the Irish Derby. Affianced was a stakes winner at two and the best of her offspring is the Coolmore National Hunt sire Soldier Of Fortune (Galileo). He won the Group 1 Irish Derby and Coronation Cup and is now a Grade 1 sire over jumps.