PAM SLY plans to bring smart speedster Dazzling Dan to York this Saturday for the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint.
The Thorney-based trainer hit the headlines in 2006 when she took on the big guns and won, thanks to Speciosa’s heroics in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Now her comparatively small operation has unearthed another talented performer in the shape of Dazzling Dan.
Apart from his debut, the gelding by Dandy Man has not finished out of the first two in five subsequent starts.
Indeed on his last outing – on May 18 – he triumphed in a £50,000 handicap at Newmarket.
And, in terms of the horses she has trained, Sly has no doubt about Dazzling Dan’s level of ability.
She said: “He’d be the best one since Speciosa, wouldn’t he – he definitely is.”
Dazzling Dan is owned by four people, one of whom also had a stake in Speciosa. The lucky man is Dr Tom Davies, but he won’t be at York on Saturday.
Sly said: “He has just retired as a doctor – I think, he’s North London way. And they’re giving him a big party, so he said, ‘I can’t come.’
“I said, ‘Tell them to get on with the party and you come racing!’”
Dazzling Dan was raised in the handicap to 99 after his Newmarket success. As a result he is the second-highest rated horse in this Saturday’s six-furlong showdown on the Knavesmire.
The horse has been ticking over since his victory on the Rowley Mile and worked last morning ahead of his York engagement.
Sly assessed: “He’s absolutely fine. He’s in good form.
“He’s not over big but he’s just a ball of muscle, really. He’s gradually stepping up the whole time, which is good and he’s got a great mind.”
With rather unseasonal weather hitting much of the country Sly wouldn’t want extreme underfoot conditions for Dazzling Dan.
But she added: “When he won at Doncaster as a two-year-old it was on the soft side there.
“We won’t mind if it’s good to soft or on the soft side. I don’t suppose he’d want it heavy.”
The Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint is one of seven races at York’s Macmillan Charity Raceday. The longstanding fixture has raised over £8.5million since its launch in 1971.
York’s latest two-day meeting gets underway on Friday afternoon (1.50pm) with a seven-race card.