Owner John Dance buys Derby winner Dante’s birthplace in Middleham as new training base

OWNER John Dance has bought Manor House Stud in Middleham and will install Sir Michael Stoute’s assistant James Horton as his private trainer.

John Dance won six Group One races with Laurens.

OWNER John Dance has bought Manor House Stud in Middleham and will install Sir Michael Stoute’s assistant James Horton as his private trainer.

Dance, who came to prominence with the six-time Group One-winning mare Laurens for Leyburn trainer Karl Burke, announced last year he would be taking a step back from ownership having become frustrated with aspects of the sport, selling the majority of his horses.

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However, by his own admission, his intention to have a quiet 2021 has gone “slightly pear-shaped” with the acquisition of a new yard, while Bravemansgame, who he co-owns with Bryan Drew, is a top jumps prospect.

This was the John Dance-owned Laurens winning at Doncaster under PJ McDonald.

Dance, a North East businessman, is to also launch new colours, gold and black, to signify that the horses now also run in the name of his wife Jess as well.

Manor House Stud was formerly owned by Lenore ‘Lennie’ Peacock, who died in March 2019.

The last northern-trained Derby winner, Dante, was born and raised there.

In a statement on his Dance Thoroughbreds Twitter account, Dance said: “We announced a temporary wind down of our operations last summer so we could step back from racing for a period and re-evaluate.

“It proved a brilliant decision for us both, especially me personally as the mental space it created suddenly allowed me the opportunity to come up with a revised strategy for our participation.

“Having dreamt up this plan in late 2020, we did buy a few sneaky yearlings from the December sale, bought a few previously unsold two-year-olds earlier this year from trainers and to complete what Jess has called ‘the worst year off ever’ were very active at the Craven Breeze-Up sale.

“James has a fantastic CV, and the team has very similar aspirations and philosophies.”

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