Further top-flight success beckons for Bradley

4 min read
Michelle Bradley is revelling in her new role at Logan Racing Stables and making the most of the current opportunity afforded to her.

The experienced and versatile horsewoman has been a long-time employee at the Ruakaka operation, filling a number of roles under Group 1 winning trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs.

When Logan accepted an invitation to ply her trade in Singapore, Bradley took her place in the New Zealand training partnership and a few short months later she celebrated top-flight success with Dandanzdanzdance (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {IRE}) in the G1 Captain Cook S.

“It’s been a dream start and I’ve been really lucky.” - Michelle Bradley.

“It’s been a dream start and I’ve been really lucky,” she said. “Donna gave me the opportunity and it was a privilege to be asked. We’ve got a great team at Ruakaka.”

Michelle Bradley

Experience leading the team

Bradley has been associated with the stable for more than a decade, riding trackwork and managing the office and during that time she took out a trainer’s licence and prepared a small independent team with modest success.

But now she’s in co-charge of one of the bigger stables in the country and following a proud family tradition.

“My Dad, Murray Marshall, was a trainer at Pukekohe and he had a few winners and my great grandfather, Pop Marshall, was a trainer at Takanini so there’s plenty of racing blood,” she said.

Bradley is now wishing for a late Christmas present from Danzdanzdance when the gifted grey mare takes aim at the G1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

Danzdanzdance winning the G1 Captain Cook S.

The 4-year-old turned in a scintillating performance last time out at Trentham where she raced three wide with cover and then bolted clear in the straight for a comprehensive four length victory.

Spaced runs suit

Such was the ease with which she won, the mare will be hard to handle at Ellerslie and Bradley sounded words of warning to rival trainers when she said Danzdanzdance had herself benefitted from the Captain Cook outing.

“She came through the race really well and she’s in a good place at the moment.” - Michelle Bradley.

“She came through the race really well and she’s in a good place at the moment,” she said. “She was fresh-up over 1600 metres when she won and the step up to 2000 metres is ideal for her.”

Danzdanzdance isn’t the most robust of horses and operates best with plenty of time between runs.

“We like to space her races out a bit and this race is perfect timing for her,” Bradley said.

Third in last season’s G1 New Zealand Derby as a one-race winner, Danzdanzdance then crossed the Tasman and finished fifth in the G1 Vinery Stud S. and sixth in the G1 Australian Oaks.

The stable admitted she wasn’t at her best in Sydney and was at the end of her campaign, but a return with a more tailored preparation is on the cards in the autumn.

“We’ll go race by race with her and we want to get Boxing Day out of the way first.” - Michelle Bradley.

“We’ll go race by race with her and we want to get Boxing Day out of the way first. Then we’ll all sit down and work out what we’re going to do,” Bradley said.

“There are a lot of options for her and she’s got a nomination for the G1 Herbie Dyke S., but obviously Sydney will be on the radar for her as well.”

Danzdanzdance’s chief rivals at Ellerslie loom as the quartet from the powerful Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable – Lizzie L’Amour (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), Saint Emilion (NZ) (Masatercraftsman {NZ}), Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel) and Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}).

Runner-up in this race 12 months ago, Lizzie L’Amour is in good touch with second placings from her last three appearances.

Gifted front-runner

Saint Emilion produced his customary bold front-running display to win the G3 OMF S. on the course in his lead-up outing. If he is allowed to dictate off the front, he’ll be a devil of a horse to run down.

Both Nicoletta and Jon Snow were unplaced at their most recent outings but their best form puts them right in the fight and particularly the latter.

A post-race veterinary inspection revealed Jon Snow suffered an over-reach injury to the heel of his left foreleg during the Captain Cook S., in which he ran seventh after a chequered passage.