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York Dante Meeting – Day Three Through The Card Selections

The York Dante Meeting moves into it’s third and final and GG Editor Jake Russell guides you through his selections & analysis for all 7 races on the card, including his picks for the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup.

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Odds correct at time of posting – 2.40pm Wednesday 17th May

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1.50 – Clipper EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)

Amo Racing look set to potentially have another decent two-year-old in this contest with Persian Dreamer, however the manner that GOT TO LOVE A GREY won on debut at Nottingham last time suggests she could be a high-class prospect in the making. She was well fancied that day, sent off as the 5/4 favourite, so she must have been showing a fair bit at home, and when a Karl Burke two-year-old is well fancied that usually speaks volumes. She broke well, was prominent throughout most of the race before going on to pull clear and win by 6 lengths, with a horse in behind who had some racecourse experience that day. Karl Burkes horses are going very well at present, and this could be one of the more exciting two-year-olds he has in his yard this season. She’s an exciting prospect going forward. 

2.25 – Oak Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)

QUEEN FOR YOU made a very impressionable debut performance at Ascot last time out, in a very decent Novice contest where she beat Copy Artist by 2 lengths going away. She was hanging late on, but still ran on well to win comfortably in the end, and I would imagine there will be more to come from her. Her only entry later on in the season is the Coronation Stakes, which I believe was the case even before her debut run last time, so that clearly shows how they hold her in such high regard at home. I think there is plenty more to come from her, and she arguably has the best form on offer even though having just run the once.  

3.00 – Knights Solicitors Handicap (Class 2)

A pretty competitive contest before the feature race of the day, evolves around whether the recent wind surgery has done its magic for this son of Lope De Vega NOBEL. A winner on debut at Kempton in 2021, before going on to win nicely on his three-year-old seasonal reappearance at Epsom over 1m2f. He did then disappoint next time out however when running in the Listed James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket, he was very well beaten after being gassy early on and dropping like a stone, so with the wind surgery since it is clear there was an issue with breathing. I just think dropping into this company is a huge plus, and given how connections have persisted with him, that could be worth taking a chance with. I think he is the class act in this field, who if all being well could go onto bigger things this season.     

3.35 – Boodles Yorkshire Cup Stakes (Group 2)

As we look for a new staying superstar with Stradivarius retiring after last season, this race might be able to bring one to the forefront. Quickthorn had a very productive season last time, winning a Group 2 at Longchamp before going on to win the Lonsdale Cup at York, but there might be one or two who could improve past him in this contest. ELDAR ELDAROV was last year’s St Leger winner, and he won that race in some style beating New London by 2 lengths, before going on to finish further down the field in the Long-Distance Cup at Ascot last October. That was a disappointing run with no real explanation from connections, but he was only a three-year-old last season with just the six runs to his name, so there is a thinking he would have grown and strengthened over the winner period and will still get better with each passing run. Judging on his performances last season, I feel he could stamp his authority on the staying division this season as he looks an out and out stayer in the making. He is the new young pretender on the staying scene, so let’s hope he can go on and win this. 

4.10 – Darley Novice Stakes (Class 2)

Mostabshir was an easy winner on his debut at Kempton last season, before going on to step up in class when contesting in the Group 3 Craven Stakes last time. That was just his second career start, therefore it shows that connections hold him in high regard, and dropping back down into Novice Company could prove the key factor for him. However, the Wood Ditton form could come to play in this contest, Passenger was the winner of the race that day who has been supplemented for the Dante this week, and could be a Derby type in the making, whilst KATHAB was just three lengths behind him that day. He was gelded before his first run, so might be a bit of a handful, but the way he ran last time caught the eye, going well before making smooth headway and running on late in the day, only to be beaten by quite a nice type who finished three lengths ahead. This could arguably an easier race than last time, and although he is lightly raced, I feel he would have improved a fair bit from his debut run and is the one to beat. 

4.45 – Yorkshire Equine Practice Handicap (Class 4)

A very difficult contest for the penultimate race of the day, with a full field of 20 currently declared. I suppose you could make a case for each runner with most of them having some decent form in the past, but the one I like is the last time out winner RIOT for David O’Meara. A winner over 7 furlongs at Chelmsford last time out just 15 days ago, he does look back to his best and had a peak rating of the mid 90’s when trained in Ireland by Johnny Murtagh. The yard does well with these sorts of horses, ones coming from previous trainers, and judging how he has been running for his new yard shows there might be a little more to come from him with each passing run. Three-time Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride who rode the horse back in the day when owned by Qatar Racing, so he does know this horse inside out, making that a real eye-catching runner in this race even though he has a 3lb raise from the last run. 

5.20 – Irish Champions Festival Handicap (Class 3)

Another very competitive to finish the Dante Meeting, but it is quite a decent little contest with some horses in it who are in terrific form. Speaking of being in terrific form, the Alice Haynes yard has hit the ground running this season (Currently operating at a 32%-win strike rate for the last 14 days), and SHE’S CENTIMENTAL would be my pick in this race. Lightly raced with just the four runs to her name, she is yet to finish out of the top two, coming second on debut before winning her next three runs, at Southwell once and Wolverhampton twice. She is yet to run on the turf and over 5 furlongs, but judging by her pedigree I would say she will be even better on the turf. She beat a horse called Cruise last time out, who has since franked the form and won with absolute ease on his next start by just under 7 lengths, so there is plenty of substance to his form last time, and I could see her being the one to improve even more heading into this contest. She has a 5lb rise from the last time, but the mark of 82 does look quite lenient for a horse having won three times in just four career starts. I would imagine she will still improve with each passing run.              


1.50 – GOT TO LOVE A GREY (3/1 generally)

2.25 – QUEEN FOR YOU (5/2 generally)

3.00 – NOBEL (9/2 generally)

3.35 – ELDAR ELDAROV (4/1 generally)

4.10 – KATHAB (2/1 William Hill, 6/4 Bet365)

4.45 – RIOT (awaiting odds)

5.15 – SHE’S CENTIMENTAL (awaiting odds)

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