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Maiden came so close to causing a massive shock.

IT WAS Sir Percy who took the honours in the closest of Derby finishes eight years ago, but it could just as easily have been Dragon Dancer, or for that matter Dylan Thomas or Hala Bek, for the four horses were separated by just two short heads and a head.

Hala Bek went down in many notebooks as the unlucky one. He had already beaten Dragon Dancer in a Newbury maiden and might well have done so again but for jinking sharply right in the last 100 yards when challenging strongly on the outside.

But 66-1 chance Dragon Dancer was unlucky in a sense too, for he had finally got the better of a sustained battle with Dylan Thomas all the way up the straight, the pair clear for much of the way, only to be touched off on the line by Sir Percy, who came from nowhere and was fortunate to enjoy an uninterrupted run up the rail.

Trainer Geoff Wragg resisted the temptation to drop Dragon Dancer back to maiden company afterwards and at the end of his three-year-old campaign he had yet to win a race, although he had added a fourth place in the Irish Derby and a Group 2 second in France.

Success came at last in a Listed race at Windsor the following August when he received 5lb from runner-up Classic Punch, but he did not win again. He ended that season finishing down the field behind old rival Dylan Thomas in the Arc and was retired after finishing in rear twice more at five.

CAPTION(S):

Sir Percy (top) wins the 2006 Derby from 66-1 shot Dragon Dancer (5), Dylan Thomas (6) and Hala Bek (7)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2014
Words:283
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