Thursday 12th May 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Dante Festival 2022
A big welcome to my preview for the Thursday card of this year’s Dante Festival at York. I’ll kick things off with the opener which is the 1:50 and a Class 2 Handicap that’s contested over five furlongs. In this particular affair I like the chances of Digital at 7/1 for the team of Kevin Ryan and Kevin Stott. He ran a mighty race on his only appearance at this track and arrives here in solid form, having won at Southwell on his penultimate outing before finishing third of eight in another hot handicap a Newbury. It’s likely he has more progression in him and he’s got to be considered a player here.
It’s Group 2 action up next at 2:25 where the Middleton Fillies’ Stakes takes centre-stage on the Knavemsire over a mile and two and a half furlongs. The one I’ve sided with here is Thunder Kiss who’s currently trading at a best price of 3/1 for the team of Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. She drops back in trip here but made a mightily impressive return to the track last month when bolting up in a Listed race at Cork. It’s likely that she’ll progress as a result of that outing as well, which if it is the case would make her very tough to beat. I think she has a big chance here.
We move back into handicap company at 3:00 with a Class 2 Handicap over a mile. As you’d expect, this is typically very competitive and it’s currently 9/2 the field. I’ve taken a chance on the eight-year-old Trais Fluors though at 8/1 who represents the combination of Mick Channon and Silvestre De Sousa. His best days are clearly behind him now, as his best form was left back in France, however, he’s dropped to a very lowly mark in the handicap which is currently sitting five pounds below his last winning one. Whilst he wouldn’t be the most reliable horse to take his place on the Knavemsire this week, he’s certainly got a chance here at the weights.
The 3:35 is the feature itself as the Group 2 Dante Stakes takes place over a mile and two and a half furlongs. All eyes will be on Desert Crown here and his lofty reputation after his impressive debut win last year at Nottingham. I’ve taken him on though and I’ve done that El Bodegon who’s currently a 10/3 chance for James Ferguson and Daniel Muscutt. He’s a Kodiac colt who’s already won a Group 1 having won the Criterium in France last October, where he had the likes of Stone Age, Goldspur and Buckaroo all in behind him. That’s red-hot form to say the least, Stone Age has bolted up in both starts this term and Buckaroo won a listed race by four-lengths recently. If he turns up in anywhere near the same form as he did that day Saint-Cloud last October he’ll be a very tough nut to crack.
Concluding my preview will be the 4:10 which is the Listed Westow Stakes over five furlongs. I think this can go to the Irish raider in King Of Bavaria at 15/8 for the team of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. The Ballydoyle raider won both of his starts last term and made a reasonable return to the track last month at Navan when he finished fourth of eight behind stablemate New York City in a Listed contest. It’s highly likely that he’ll take a sizeable step forward from that run, as many of the yards do after their first outing of the season, which would make him a serious player here.