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Dante Stakes Tips: Wisdom To Propel To Derby Favouritism With York Win

One of the premier Epsom Derby trials will take place at York on day two of the Dante Festival on Thursday afternoon, as some top notch three-year-old colts look to book their place at Epsom Downs in a few weeks and the 2024 Dante Stakes should throw up some vital clues. Our in-house tipster Steve Chambers previews the race and expects an exciting performer to claim victory in this and propel to Derby favouritism…

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ANCIENT WISDOM

(William Buick/Charlie Appleby)

Hugely impressive when storming to a one-and-three-quarter length winner of the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster at the back end of last season, Ancient Wisdom is set for his first run of the year on Thursday in the Dante and he looks a really exciting prospect. The Dubawi colt has won four of his five career starts and he should be one that relishes the step up to ten furlongs here and he’s a well-fancied 8/1 shot for the Derby at Epsom. If he can continue on an upward curve and here and show why he is a clear favourite for the Dante then there would be no shock to see if overtake City Of Troy as Derby favourite and the Godolphin raider looks a real class act.


AL MUSMAK

(James Doyle/Roger Varian)

Second in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot last season, where he beat Ancient Wisdom, Al Musmak then went and tasted Listed success next time up at Haydock Park. However, the Night Of Thunder colt was second in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on his last start behind Ghostwriter and Roger Varian’s runner will need to improve on that effort. Yet to race over further than a mile, he will step up in trip, but may have potential stamina issues to contend with here and while he is a consistent performer he may just be vulnerable.

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CAVIAR HEIGHTS

(Clifford Lee/Karl Burke)

One that did relish the step up to 1m 2f last time out is Karl Burke’s Caviar Heights, who is a 25/1 shot for the Derby, and he could be the biggest thorn in the side of Ancient Wisdom here. He bounded to a four-length Listed win at Newmarket on his first outing over ten furlongs and he wasn’t stopping at the line, so he could look to make it a test of stamina and is a fascinating contender and has to be given the utmost respect.


CAMBRIDGE

(Ryan Moore/Aidan O’Brien)

With only a Salisbury maiden win to his name, Cambridge may not be the premier Derby challenger for Aidan O’Brien come June 1, but the Ballydoyle handler has to be respected whenever he sends one across the Irish Sea. Fourth in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on his first run of the season, Cambridge should strip significantly fitter for that outing and with some of O’Brien’s failing to fire this season first time out then he could be one best watched.

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THE FIELD

A Newbury maiden winner last month on his second start, Economics is a fascinating contender for the William Haggas team. Stepping up hugely in grade here, the Night Of Thunder colt will need to improve immeasurably, but he’s certainly open to it, so is an eye-catching runner.

Last of four in the Dee Stakes at Chester last week, God’s Window makes a quick turn around for John & Thady Gosden and he will be hoping he doesn’t miss the break this week like he did at Chester. Prior to that he won well at Nottingham, so deserves a second chance.

War Rooms completes the seven-strong field and was well beaten in the Classic Trial at Sandown Park last month, so will need to improve on that to play any sort of starring role here.


VERDICT

We are crying out for a clear favourite for the Epsom Derby following City Of Troy’s 2000 Guineas flop and we could get one on Thursday as ANCIENT WISDOM can rocket to favouritism following a dominant victory here. A class act in the Futurity Trophy at the back end of last season, Charlie Appleby’s star can continue on an upward curve now stepped up in trip and he can beat Caviar Heights with Cambridge best of the rest in third.

  1. Ancient Wisdom
  2. Caviar Heights
  3. Cambridge

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