Chance To Dance bounced back from a baffling last-start defeat to show his true form under top rider Opie Bosson at Ellerslie yesterday.
A gear addition brought out the best in the eight-year-old, who capitalised on a dream run to beat Mime and Authentic Paddy in the Gr.3 OMF Stakes (2000m).
Chance To Dance was a first-up winner of the Listed Karaka Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe, but he had the camp scratching their heads after he beat only one runner home in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hawke's Bay.
"We were pretty deflated after the Livamol, we expected him to run really well," said Jamie Richards, who trains in partnership with Stephen Autridge. "He had been working with Gingernuts and working just as well.
"We changed things around a bit with him as he's an older horse now and the blinkers obviously sharpened him up."
Raced by John Galvin's syndication company Fortuna NZ, Chance To Dance was given a cosy passage in the trail and he speared between runners in the closing 200 metres to take the prize by a long head.
"Opie gave him every possible chance with a 10 out of 10 ride," Richards said.
A son of Teofilo, Chance To Dance is now likely to race exclusively in weight-for-age company.
"His rating is too high for handicaps so we'll get him home and look at the options," Richards said. "His best trip is around 2000m and the Zabeel Classic on Boxing Day will be one race that is discussed."
- NZ Racing Desk