|Foaled||11 May 1983|
|Breeder||Glen Oak Farm|
| Craven Stakes (1986)|
2000 Guineas (1986)
Eclipse Stakes (1986)
K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (1986)
Select Stakes (1986)
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (1986)
|Top-rated European horse (International Classification) (1986)|
Top-rated European horse (Timeform) (1986)
British Horse of the Year (1986)
Timeform rating: 140
Dancing Brave (11 May 1983 – 2 August 1999) was an American-bred, British-trained thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from the autumn of 1985 until October 1986 he ran ten times and won eight races. he was the outstanding European racehorse of 1986 when he won the 2000 Guineas, the Eclipse Stakes, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His only defeats came in The Derby and the Breeders' Cup Turf. He was retired to stud where he was a successful sire of winners in Europe before being exported to Japan where he died on 2 August 1999.
Dancing Brave was a bay colt with a white snip and three white feet, standing sixteen hands high, bred by the Glen Oak Farm in Kentucky.He was not a particularly attractive individual as a young horse, being described as parrot-mouthed with imperfect forelegs. Dancing Brave was sired by Lyphard out of Navajo Princess, a mare who won sixteen races including the Molly Pitcher Handicap. Navajo Princess was a descendant of the mare Stolen Kiss, who was the ancestor of notable racehorses including the Epsom Derby winner Henbit and the Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair.
He was purchased as a yearling by James Delahooke, on behalf of Khalid Abdullah for US$200,000 in Kentucky. The colt was sent into training with Guy Harwood at Pulborough.At the time, Harwood was noted for his modern approach to training, introducing Britain to features such as artificial gallops and barn-style stabling.
Dancing Brave was a May foal, and as Harwood did not believe in racing horses until they were at least two years and three months old, the colt was given only light training until late summer.Dancing Brave made his first racecourse appearance in the one-mile Dorking Stakes at Sandown in which he started odds-on favourite against three opponents. He won easily by three lengths from Mighty Memory. In the Soham House Stakes at Newmarket, Dancing Brave again started favourite after reports that he had been performing better at home than the stable's William Hill Futurity winner Bakharoff. He won by two and a half lengths from Northern Amethyst, with Nisnas in third. Despite never having contested a Group Race and being rated eleven pounds below the top-rated Bakharoff in the International Classification, he was made 10/1 winter favourite for the following year's 2000 Guineas.
Dancing Brave opened his three-year-old campaign with a victory over Faraway Dancer and Mashkourin the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April. Over the same course and distance two weeks later he started 15/8 favourite against fourteen opponents in the 2000 Guineas. Ridden by Greville Starkey, he quickened in the closing stages of a slowly run race to win by three lengths from Green Desert and Huntingdale. After the race, Starkey was confident that the colt would stay one and a half miles in the Derby, although Harwood was more cautious.
In The Derby a month later Dancing Brave started favourite, despite concerns about his ability to stay the distance of twelve furlongs. Starkey employed exaggerated waiting tactics and Dancing Brave was close to last place entering the home straight. Switched to the outside to make his challenge, Dancing Brave accelerated in the last quarter mile, being clocked at 10.3 seconds for the penultimate furlong. He failed to catch the leader Shahrastani finishing second by half a length. His jockey, Greville Starkey, was widely criticised for his tactics, but he has been defended by others, including Harwood, who pointed out that the race was run at a muddling pace and that Starkey could only have won if he had "cut the horse in half",which as the stable jockey he was unwilling to do. Starkey kept the ride for Dancing Brave's next race, Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park. Racing against older horses for the first time he won in "breathtaking style" by four lengths from Triptych and Teleprompter. However, when Starkey was injured and unable to ride the horse in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot he was replaced by Pat Eddery who became the preferred choice in the colt's remaining races. The Ascot race saw a rematch between Dancing Brave and Shahrastani. Since winning the Derby, Shahrastani had won the Irish Derby by eight lengths and started favourite for the King George. Eddery produced Dancing Brave's run earlier than usual, taking him into the lead over a furlong from home and the colt had to be ridden out to hold off Shardari by three-quarters of a length, with Triptych third, Shahrastani fourth and Petoski fifth.
After a break, Dancing Brave returned in the Select Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in September. He tracked the leaders before pulling away in the closing stages to win by ten lengths.On his final European appearance, Dancing Brave was sent overseas for the first time to contest the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris. Apart from Shardari, Shahrastani and Triptych, the field also included the German champion Acatenango and the French colt Bering, who was unbeaten in four races in 1986. Eddery restrained Dancing Brave in the early stages before switching him to the wide outside to challenge in the straight as the runners spread across the width of the course. With 200m to run he was not in the first ten, but produced an "electrifying burst" to take the lead 50m from the finish and won by a length and a half from Bering in a race record time of 2:27.7. On his final appearance was then sent to California to contest the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park but failed to reproduce his best form, finishing fourth behind Manila. Dancing Brave suffered an injury in the race when he was struck in the eye by a clod of turf.
At the end of 1986, the panel of Racehorse handicappers met from the major racing nations of Europe to determine the International Classifications, the annual rating of thoroughbred racehorses who have run in Europe. Dancing Brave was awarded a rating of 141, the highest rating ever given to any horse up to that time.These are the official ratings as recognised by the organised racing bodies in Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Austria. In January 2013 the ratings were "recalibrated" and Dancing Brave was given a revised rating of 138, now putting him second to Frankel who was rated at 140. Dancing Brave was given a rating of 140 by Timeform. In 1999, The Independent described Dancing Brave as "the greatest British Flat champion of the last quarter of a century".
Dancing Brave was voted the official British Horse of the Year in 1986 by the Racegoers' Club. By taking all 27 votes in the poll he was the first horse to be unanimously elected since Brigadier Gerard in 1971.
Pat Eddery called Dancing Brave the best horse he ever rode, and a "once in a lifetime ride", while Khalid Abdulla described him as the outstanding horse to have carried his colours. Guy Harwood called him "very much the best I trained".In their book A Century of Champions, John Randall and Tony Morris rated Dancing Brave as the sixth best British racehorse of the 20th century, and the sixteenth best horse of the century trained in any country.
Dancing Brave was syndicated with an estimated value of £14m. He retired to stand as a stallion at the Dalham Hall Stud at Newmarket with an initial stud fee of £120,000. According to Tony Morris in Thoroughbred Stallions (1990), he was known to often pass on his parrot mouth to his stock. In November 1987 he was found to be suffering from Marie's diseaseand had fertility problems in 1988. His modest early success led to his being exported to Japan, to stand at the Shizunai Stallion Station at Hokkaidō in 1991. He died on August 2, 1999 of a heart attack.
He sired numerous winners, having a particularly good crop of three-year-olds in 1993, foaled in the year before his export, including Commander in Chief, who won The Derby, and White Muzzle, second in both the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Other good winners included Wemyss Bight, Cherokee Rose and Ivanka. The best of his Japanese offspring was the filly T M Ocean who won the Oka Sho and the Shuka Sho in 2001.
| Northern Dancer (CAN)|
|Court Martial||Fair Trial|
Navajo Princess (USA)
|Cap and Bells||Tom Fool|
|Chocolate Beau||Beau Max|
|Otra (Family 3-d )|
Shahrastani (1983–2011) was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He won four of his seven races between September 1985 and October 1986. He is best known for his performances in the summer of 1986 when he defeated Dancing Brave in the Epsom Derby and went on to win the Irish Derby by eight lengths. At the end of the season he was retired to stud, but made little impact as a stallion. He died in 2011.
Commander in Chief (1990–2007) was a British thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted just over three months in the spring and summer of 1993 he won five of his six races, most notably the Derby at Epsom and the Irish Derby at the Curragh. He was the first Derby winner since Morston in 1973 not to have raced as a two-year-old. Furthermore, the Racing Post had not even included him in their list of horses for the 1993 Ten-to-Follow on the flat competition. Commander in Chief was voted the 1993 Cartier Champion Three-year-old Colt.
Golden Fleece (1979–1984) was an American-bred and Irish-trained champion Thoroughbred race horse and sire. In a career which consisted of only four races, he was undefeated, with his most notable success coming on his final racecourse appearance in the 1982 Epsom Derby.
Grundy (1972–1992) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from July 1974 until August 1975 he ran eleven times and won eight races. He was the leading British two-year-old of 1974 when his wins included the Champagne Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes. In 1975 he was narrowly beaten in the 2000 Guineas but went on to win the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Epsom and Irish derbies. He is best remembered however, for his win over Bustino in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, which has been described as Britain's "Race of the Century". He was retired to stud at the end of 1975 and had some success as a sire of winners. He was exported to Japan where he died in 1992.
Tirol was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career that lasted from July 1989 to September 1990 he ran nine times in Britain, Ireland and France. Beginning in September 1989, he won five consecutive races, culminating the following spring with successes in the Classic 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh. After two defeats later in 1990 Tirol was retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners. He died in India in 2007.
Toulon (1988–1998), was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire who was bred in Britain and trained in France. In a career which lasted from October 1990 until October 1992, he ran eleven times and won four races. He recorded his most important success when winning the Classic St. Leger Stakes as a three-year-old in 1990, the same year in which he won the Chester Vase and the Prix Maurice de Nieuil as well as finishing fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. In the following season he failed to win in four races in Europe and had limited success when racing in California in 1993. He was then retired to stud, where he proved to be a successful sire of National Hunt horses.
Moon Madness, was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from September 1985 until November 1988, he ran twenty-four times and won ten races. He recorded his most important success when winning the Classic St. Leger Stakes as a three-year-old in 1986, the same year in which he also won the King George V Stakes, and the Scottish Derby. He continued to race for the next two seasons in major middle-distance and staying races, with his victories including the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, the Geoffrey Freer Stakes the Cumberland Lodge Stakes and the Yorkshire Cup. He later stood as a stallion in Europe and Japan.
Warning was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the leading two-year-old colt in Europe in 1987 when he was unbeaten in four races including the Richmond Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. As a three-year-old he missed the British Classic Races but proved himself to be an outstanding specialist miler, winning the Sussex Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. He was less successful in 1989, but added a win in the Queen Anne Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of that year and became a successful sire of winners in Britain and Japan.
Shardari was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was unraced as a two-year-old before winning four of his six races as a three-year-old in 1985 including the Cumberland Lodge Stakes and St. Simon Stakes. In the following year he was tried at the highest level, winning the Princess of Wales's Stakes and International Stakes and finishing second to Dancing Brave in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was retired to stud at the end of 1986 but had little success as a sire of winners.
Solford was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was undefeated in his first five races, culminating in a victory over a strong international field in the Eclipse Stakes in 1983. He also defeated the Prix du Jockey Club winner Caerleon at Phoenix Park Racecourse and won the Prix du Lys in France. He ran poorly in his only race after the Eclipse and was retired to stud, where he had no impact as a sire of winners.
Don't Forget Me was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic 2000 Guineas in 1987. He showed promising form as a two-year-old in 1986, winning three of his four races including the Lanson Champagne Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. In the early part of 1987 he survived an injury scare to win the 2000 Guineas and completed a rare double by winning the Irish 2000 Guineas two weeks later. He was beaten in his remaining three races and was retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners.
Law Society was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from August 1984 until July 1985 he won five of his eight races and was rated among the best of his generation in Europe in both years. As a two-year-old he won the Anglesey Stakes and the National Stakes in Ireland before being narrowly defeated in the Dewhurst Stakes. In the following year he won the Chester Vase and finished second in The Derby before recording his biggest win when defeating a strong international field in the Irish Derby. He was retired from racing at the end of his three-year-old season and stood as a breeding stallion in Ireland and Germany with some success. Law Society died in 2011 at the age of twenty-nine.
Rousillon was an American bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. A difficult, temperamental and unpredictable horse, he was a specialist over the one mile distance, winning seven of his thirteen race between August 1983 and November 1985. He won the 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes and the Waterford Crystal Mile as a three-year-old in 1984 before reaching his peak in the following season when he won the Queen Anne Stakes, Sussex Stakes and the Prix du Moulin. He was retired to stud after his four-year-old season and had some success as a sire of winners. He is the sire of champion thoroughbred Vintage Crop.
Bakharoff was an American-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the highest-rated European two-year-old of 1985 when he won the William Hill Futurity and the Chesham Stakes as well as finishing second in the Dewhurst Stakes. As a three-year-old he was overshadowed by his stable companion Dancing Brave, but he showed good form to win the Geoffrey Freer Stakes and finish third in both the Prix du Jockey Club and the Irish Derby. In all, he achieved four wins and seven places in a twelve race career which lasted from April 1985 until September 1986. He later stood as a breeding stallion in New Zealand with modest results.
To-Agori-Mou was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire who won the classic 2000 Guineas in 1981. He was the best British-trained two-year-old of 1980 when he won the Solario Stakes and was narrowly beaten by the Irish-trained Storm Bird in the Dewhurst Stakes. As a three-year-old he was beaten on his debut but justified his position as betting favourite in the 2000 Guineas. The rest of his season was dominated by a controversial four-race series in which he was matched against the Irish colt Kings Lake. His other major wins in 1981 came in the St. James's Palace Stakes, Waterford Crystal Mile and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. In 1982 he was campaigned in the United States without success and was retired to stud where he had little success as a sire of winners.
The 1986 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes was a horse race held at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 26 July 1986. It was the 36th running of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Flash of Steel was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Bred and owned by Bertram Firestone and trained by Dermot Weld he was one of the best two-year-olds in Ireland in 1985 when he won his last three races including the Beresford Stakes. In the following spring he took his winning run to five by taking the Tetrarch Stakes and recording his biggest victory in the Irish 2000 Guineas. He ran unplaced in both The Derby and the Irish Derby and was retired from racing at the end of the year. He stood as a breeding stallion in Ireland, Italy, Australia and Japan but had little success as a sire of winners.
Tate Gallery was an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. A full-brother to Sadler's Wells he won two of his five races in a track career which lasted from August 1985 until May 1986. As a two-year-old he finished unplaced in the Phoenix Stakes on his debut before winning a maiden race and then recorded his biggest victory in the National Stakes. In the following spring he ran third in the Gladness Stakes and then finished last in the 2000 Guineas before being retired from racing. In a brief stud career he sired several good winners, most notably Lyric Fantasy.
Cacoethes was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After finishing third on his only start as a two-year-old he improved to become one of the best colts of his generation in Europe in the following year, winning the Lingfield Derby Trial and the King Edward VII Stakes as well as finishing second in the International Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and third in the Epsom Derby. In 1990 he showed his best form in Autumn when he won the Turf Classic and ran third in the Japan Cup. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in Japan.
Brocade was a British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Unraced as a juvenile she began her racing career in 1984 and showed high class form to win the Oak Tree Stakes and the Challenge Stakes as well as finishing second in the Prix Quincey. After struggling to recapture her best form as a four-year-old she ended her racing career with a win in the Prix de la Forêt. She was highly successful as a broodmare, producing several winners including Barathea and Gossamer.