AFTER six years at Haras du Lion, Feel Like Dancing moved to Ronnie O’Neill’s Whytemount Stud, and his first Irish crop are now three-year-olds.

Bred and raced by Lady Bamford, Feel Like Dancing was trained by John Gosden and only raced for a single season, as a three-year-old. He won his first and last starts, the latter being the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy over two miles, and he was runner-up to Leading Light in the Group 3 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, run in 2013 in memory of the great Sir Henry Cecil.

From small crops in France, he has sired winners under both codes, and his lightly-raced seven-year-old son Dancing City is his standout performer. Acquired privately by Hugh Bleahen and sold from his Clifton Farm at the Goffs Land Rover Sale for €28,000 to Leamore Horses, Dancing City was impressive when winning his point-to-point at Borris House, afterwards moving to Willie Mullins at Closutton.

A Wexford bumper winner after being surprisingly beaten there on his racecourse debut, he was second in a bumper to none other than Ballyburn at last year’s Punchestown Festival. Dancing City has now won four of his six hurdle starts, carries the colours of Marie and Joe Donnelly, and was bred by the Moutel family. Disappointing on his debut over the smaller obstacles, his only defeat since came at Cheltenham when he was third in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

Fourth choice of the Mullins runners in the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, he bounced back after Cheltenham to easily win the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree. After his Grade 1 win this week at Punchestown, just his tenth career start, Willie Mullins paid tribute to the gelding.

Every Festival

“He’s been to every racing festival; it takes a lot of doing. It all bodes well for the future going over fences. He did quite well coming back from Aintree. We haven’t done that before - Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown. It looks achievable so we might do more of it in the future”

Dancing City is the third winner over jumps from the Loup Solitaire (Lear Fan) mare Solitaire City. Runner-up once in six starts, she had just six foals, and while she did not manage to win herself, she has half a dozen winning siblings. One of these, Carapuce (Bigstone) was a winner in France at two, stakes-placed there, and after transferring to Britain won four hurdle races, a chase, and at the age of 12 and 13 was successful in point-to-points.

For the third time at Punchestown, and the second time in the Grade 1 Gold Cup there, Fastorslow got the measure of Galopin Des Champs, and what a joy he is for the Mulryan family who own him, and Martin Brassil who trains him. Twice successful over jumps in France, Fastorslow has won three chases since coming to Ireland, and all have been Grade 1s at the Co Kildare venue. Back in November he won the John Durkan Memorial Chase.


Bertrand Le Métayer had to go to €100,000 to take home Fastorslow, a son of Saint Des Saints (Cadoudal) out of the Kahyasi (Ile De Bourbon) mare Popova offered by Charles Brière’s Fairway Consignment, as a two-year-old at Arqana. He won twice as a three-year-old in France, over hurdles and fences. When he made his debut at Chateaubriant he was carrying the colours of Sean Mulryan, and it was a winning one. The following month he was sent by trainer Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé to Clairefontaine where, in a big field, he was runner-up.

A third, and final, start in the care of Chaillé-Chaillé saw Fastorslow contest a chase for three-year-olds making their debut over the larger obstacles, and he returned to winning ways. A year and a half passed before we saw Fastorslow again. However, victory was always just out of reach. At the 2022 Cheltenham Festival he was denied victory by a short head in the Grade 3 Coral Cup by Commander Of Fleet, while a year later Corach Rambler beat him by a neck in the Ultima Chase.

Starting at 20/1 for the 2023 Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup, Fastorslow beat Galopin Des Champs, Bravemansgame and Envoi Allen, and he defeated the dual Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs in the Grade 1 John Durkan. Bred by Sydney Vidal, Fastorslow is an eight-year-old, and connections will be hoping that he will be a strong candidate for Gold Cup honours next year at Prestbury Park.


In addition to a triple Grade 1 winner, Popova is also responsible for Meredith (Soldier Of Fortune), a four-time winner over jumps who was runner-up in a Grade 3 chase at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, while her five-year-old daughter Sinian Enki (Buck’s Boum) has won three times over jumps. Popova was a smart racemare herself, winning twice on the flat and twice more over hurdles, and she was placed a couple of times in good company at Auteuil, finishing second in both the Grade 3 Prix Andre Michel Hurdle and the Listed Prix Rohan Hurdle.

A Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed hurdler, Saint Des Saints is a giant of the National Hunt world in France, and his influence has extended well beyond his native shores. Now 26 years old, he has commanded a fee of €15,000 since 2017, and that is his price again in 2024. His list of Grade 1/A is a long one, and in total he has sired 97 blacktype winners.

It was a case of seven-up for Blue Bresil (Smadoun) after his seven-year-old son Redemption Day became his seventh Grade 1 winner over jumps. L’Autonomie gained her Grade 1 victories in France, Constitution Hill is the toast of the Nicky Henderson yard after seven Grade 1 wins, Inthepocket won a Grade 1 for Henry de Bromhead at Aintree last year, while all the others have won at the highest level in Ireland.

Mick Jazz, from the first crop by Blue Bresil, won the Grade 1 Ryanair December Hurdle at Leopardstown, and he has been joined on this roll of honour by Blue Lord (three Grade 1 wins), Good Land, and now by Redemption Day, successful this week in the Race and Stay at Punchestown Champion INH Flat Race. We are not finished with the number seven, as Redemption Day has only raced that number of times, winning three, and last year he was runner-up in the same race he won this week.

Futter and Kinsey

Last week I wrote about the Grade 2 chase winner Malaita, bred by David Futter and Will Kinsey, and that duo are also responsible for Redemption Day. A £40,000 purchase at the Goffs UK Yorton Farm Sale as a two-year-old by Donnchadh Doyle, Redemption Day didn’t race in a point-to-point, but did find his was to Closutton. A full-brother to a hurdle winner, he is out of the unraced Cutielilou (Astarabad), and she had a notable full-brother.

Cheltenian (Astarabad) sold as a four-year-old for £210,000 and the following year won the Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. While he did not go on to be such a success over hurdles, he did win the Grade 2 Scottish Champion Hurdle. Redemption Day and Cheltenian are the first two Grade 1 winners in the family’s first four generations, though a third was not far away on one occasion.

Redemption Day’s third dam Maite (Valdingran) won a couple of times and is the dam of Gilder (Cadoudal) and grandam of Deal Done (Vertical Speed). Gilder was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles in France and runner-up in the Grade 1 Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil. Deal Done was also second in a Grade 1, the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse, but he trailed home some 23 lengths behind the winner.