York Dante Festival Preview. (Wednesday)

Wednesday 17th May 2023
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)

Welcome aboard to my preview for this year’s Dante Festival at York which gets underway on Wednesday and concludes on Friday with three days of top-class action on the Knavesmire. I’ll be previewing each day so as ever, if you are having a bet make sure you do it in a responsible manner.

The action kicks off at 1:50 which is a Class 2 handicap that’s contested over a mile and four furlongs. This is always a competitive affair, however, I think Real Dream could be the answer in this year’s renewal of the race for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute. He looks a typically progressive sort for the yard and arrives here having won on his seasonal reappearance at Kempton last month, it’s likely that there is a lot more to come from him.

It’s more handicap action at 2:25 this time for the sprinters over a distance of six furlongs. I’ve taken a chance on Bielsa here for the team of Oisin Murphy and Kevin Ryan, he’s a horse that has bundles of form in big competitive handicaps, and after a winless campaign last season returned to form on his first run of the season this time around when finishing second at Redcar last month. If building on that run here he’s got every chance of being involved of just a pound higher.

It’s the 3:00 next which is Group 2 action in the Duke Of York Stakes which is ridden over six furlongs. This is a cracking renewal of the race, with Highfield Princess and Australian raider The Astrologist set to line up. I’ve looked elsewhere though, and I’ve sided with Creative Force for William Buick and Charlie Appleby. He arrives here with a very quick turnaround having won at Haydock at the weekend, but that could be quite telling that connections feel he’s come out of the race well enough to go again here. He’s a very talented sprinter and if in top form he could have a very serious say.

Next up it’s the 3:35 which is the Group 3 Musidora Stakes that’s contested over a mile and two and a half furlongs. This race is seen as somewhat of a stepping stone to the Oaks, and I think that Infinite Cosmos is the one they all have to beat for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute. She sets a high standard on the form she showed last time out at Newmarket when winning by over four lengths at the Guineas Meeting. She looks like an exciting filly and could be very good.

The 4:10 is up next and it’s back within handicap company over a distance of seven furlongs. This is another competitive affair but I think it could pay to be on the side of Onight for Hollie Doyle and Archie Watson. He comes into the race with fitness on his side having won his last two starts on the all-weather in February and April. The form looks fairly strong from his most recent success and this Oasis Dream colt could prove better than his opening handicap mark.

It’s novice action at 4:45 over five furlongs and this race is somewhat of a guessing game with most of them having their first outings on a racecourse. I’ve sided with the horse with experience in Mashadi for the team of Richard Hannon and Kevin Stott. He went down by just a head at Newmarket on his first start behind a potentially smart Godolphin sprinter. If building on that run here he should be bang there at the business end of things.

Concluding the action for the day will be the 5:15 which is a Class 4 handicap over a mile and four furlongs. I’ve taken a chance on last year’s winner of the race here Kihavah for Adrian Keatley and Tom Marquand. He posted a decent effort over hurdles last time out at Ayr in April and I don’t think it would be a great surprise should put in another bold effort in this off just a two-pound higher mark than his success twelve months ago.