Danza In The Dark claims Walcha Cup-Quirindi Cup double

Cobi Vitler and Stephen Meyer have claimed the Walcha Cup-Quirindi Cup double with Danza In The Dark.
Image: Bradley Photos.

The Stephen Meyer-trained Danza In The Dark has pulled off a remarkable double, winning the Walcha Cup (1440m) and Quirindi Cup (1600m).

Racing at Walcha on February 9, Cobi Vitler guided the Tamworth galloper to victory in the $45,000 feature event.

Retaining the ride at Quirindi, it was a ten out of ten effort by the Englishman and two-kilogram claiming apprentice, who was able to ease the seven-year-old to the line when taking out the $50,000 event.

In a post-race interview, Meyer, who’s retired and only trains one horse, was visibly lost for words and almost surprised he had just won the Quirindi Cup. 

“I can’t talk at all now,” He stuttered. 

“Geez, he (Vitler) rode him well; I don’t know what else to say.”

Commencing from gate six, Vitler found a spot on the fence just behind early leaders Stay Safe (Braith Nock, $4.40) and Seahaven (Mollie Fitzgerald, $16).

Turning for home, Smoke Bomb (Darryl McLellan, $61) travelled three wide to take the lead and put it to Stay Safe, with the pair doing battle into the home straight. 

Vitler, who was biding his time behind the early speed battle, was able to split the leading pair, allowing Danza In The Dark ($3.70) to emphatically burst clear, running away for a comfortable one-and-a-half length win from the Wayne Brown-trained Subuki (Anna Roper, $6.50) while hanging on for third was Stay Safe.

Vitler touched on his run in transit, explaining there was a hairy moment before he was comfortable in the run.

“I got a bit worried we were going to get caught when they came back onto us, but he found a nice spot on the rail and a gap opened at the perfect time, and he just had that much fuel in the tank he exploded through,” Vitler said. 

Now a winner of two major Country Cups on Danza In The Dark, Vitler was thrilled to enjoy a winning association with Meyer. 

“I am grateful so much to Stephen; I‘ve been dying to get on the horse, and we’ve got two for two now, and it’s onwards and upwards for him,” Vitler said. 

“He’s an absolute gem to ride, and he does anything you ask of him; he’s just so genuine and wants to be there.

“He might be old, but he’s still got a lot of life left in him.”

It was an entertaining meeting at Quirindi, and in the Lightning Handicap (1100m), the Clint Lundholm-trained Raging Rush (Jake Pracey-Holmes, $7) raced to a good win in the $40,000 sprint. 

In the $50,000 Super Maiden Handicap (1450m), the Ben Lees-trained and Braith Nock-ridden My Mate Kate ($2.50) was a class above her rivals, finishing strongly for an impressive victory. 

For all results, click here