Dragon Dancer sold to stand in north of England
Derby runner-up has sired winners on the Flat and over jumps
Dragon Dancer, beaten a whisker by Sir Percy in a thrilling finish to the 2006 Derby, has been purchased to continue his stallion career at Nunstainton Stud in County Durham.
The son of Sadler's Wells will stand alongside St Leger hero Millenary and takes the place of his close relation Dapper, who stood at the stud until his death last year aged 20. The deal was brokered by Richard Venn.
A 200,000gns yearling purchase by his trainer Geoff Wragg, Dragon Dancer started in the Derby as a 66-1 shot as he was a maiden, having finished second in the Chester Vase on his previous start.
However, he belied those odds by racing prominently and sticking on well up the Epsom straight, only to be caught by Sir Percy in the dying strides, in a blanket finish with Dylan Thomas and Hala Bek a head and a short head back in third and fourth.
Dragon Dancer proved that effort no fluke with a fourth in the Irish Derby, second in the Prix Eugene Adam and fourth in the Prix Niel in his Classic season. At four he won the Listed August Stakes and ran third to Manduro in the Prix Foy.
He has stood in France since his retirement and supplied a number of useful performers, including Goodbye Dancer, a five-time winner for Nigel Twiston-Davies, and Dylidancer, an impressive scorer of a juvenile hurdle at Pau in recent weeks.
Chris Dawson of Nunstainton Stud said: "It's exciting to have a son of Sadler's Wells in the north of England, especially as Kayf Tara has been so successful and Black Sam Bellamy is coming to the fore.
"He was a consistent Group performer with a high official rating, and he hails from an excellent Kirsten Rausing family. He's had both Flat and National Hunt winners in France and should make a good dual-purpose prospect."
Dragon Dancer is a half-brother to the classy hurdler Rigidity out of Alakananda, a winning daughter of Hernando and Listed scorer Alouette, making her a half-sister to champions Albanova and Alborada. Dapper was a brother to Alakananda.
The Nunstainton Stud newcomer will be available to view at the stallion parade during the Goffs January Sale, while his fee has yet to be decided.