John Dance's Horses Granted Permission to Run

John Dance with Laurens | Racingfotos

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that horses under the ownership of John Dance will now be permitted to run in the name of Coverdale Stud and Titanium Racing Club “with a view to supporting the welfare of the horses and the livelihoods of the staff impacted by the investigation”.

Dance's company WealthTek LLP was ordered to cease training in early April and is currently under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has agreed to money being made available for the training and racing of the owner's horses. A number of those are under the care of trainer James Horton at Dance's Manor House Farm in Yorkshire. 

A statement released by the BHA on Monday morning read, “While the Financial Conduct Authority's investigation into Mr Dance continues, it has agreed to sufficient ongoing funds being released to cover the costs of Mr Dance's racing operations, in accordance with the terms of the High Court's Freezing Order.

 “This is with a view to supporting the welfare of the horses and the livelihoods of the staff impacted by the investigation.

“The BHA is therefore permitting runners through Mr Dance's business, in the name of Coverdale Stud and Titanium Racing Club. Mr or Mrs Dance will not be permitted to have personal runners in their own names.

“Any prize-money or other business profits will be frozen under the terms of the High Court's Order and the BHA remains in continued dialogue with the FCA to supervise this arrangement. The BHA continues to work with the FCA to ensure the terms of the High Court's Order are complied with, whilst prioritising the wellbeing of the horses and people affected.”

Dance's company Vertem Asset Management, which is one of three trading names of WealthTek LLP, has been linked as sponsor to the G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster for five years.

The owner-breeder spent almost £8.5 million on 37 yearlings in Britain and Ireland last year, and the jewel of his broodmare band at Coverdale Stud is the six-time Group 1 winner Laurens (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}). Her first foal is a two-year-old colt by Invincible Spirit (Ire), who has been named First Ambition (GB).

James Horton, a former assistant to Sir Michael Stoute, made an eye-catching start to his training career in 2022, sending out 18 winners at a strike-rate of 18% in his first season with a licence. He added to that tally with another two winners this year before having to cease making entries for the Dance-owned string. Horton's name should make a return to race cards this Saturday, as he has horses entered to run at Goodwood, York, Chester and Salisbury. 

Contacted by TDN on Monday, Horton said, “The team here has been outstanding through a time of considerable uncertainty and I can only commend them for working hard to keep the show on the road.”

John and Jess Dance also had horses in training last year with the former trainer of Laurens, Karl Burke, as well as Charlie Hills, Hugo Palmer, Jedd O'Keeffe, Tom Dascombe and Richard Fahey. 


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