York Dante Festival Preview. (Friday)


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 1:50 is where we kick things off again on Friday and this time it’s listed company with the Marygate Fillies’ Stakes over five furlongs. I think that this can go to Persian Dreamer for the team of Kevin Stott and Dominic Ffrench Davies who currently heads the betting. She created a fine impression on debut at Newmarket last month when winning impressively and it’s likely that there is a lot more to come from her.

It’s the 2:25 up next which is another listed event for fillies’ this time the Oak Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes that’s ridden over a mile. I like the chances of Queen For You here who represents the Gosden’s and is set to be ridden by Robert Havlin. She’s another horse who created a big impression on debut, in her case this came at Ascot last month where she also won very impressively within a decent looking novice race. She represents connections who are known for having some of the best fillies to grace the turf, and she looks another that could have an exciting future.

Next up it’s the 3:00 where we now move into handicap company over a mile and two and a half furlongs. In this fiercely competitive affair, I’ve taken a chance on Moktasaab for William Knight and Callum Shepherd. He arrives here having posted a solid enough effort on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket when finishing fourth of eleven and will contest the race off two pounds lower. If getting some luck in the run he’s got every chance of going well.

The feature comes up at 3:35 and this is the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup which is contested over a mile and six furlongs. I think that this can go to Quickthorn for Oisin Murphy and Hughie Morrison who currently heads a competitive market. He’s a course and distance winner who also bolted up in the Lonsdale Cup here last August, when getting the better of the very talented Coltrane by the best part of fourteen lengths. He was last seen when finishing sixth in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March, but it’s likely he’ll be primed for this at a track he clearly enjoys.

It’s novice company at 4:10 over a mile and this looks a trappy looking affair with not much form to go off. I’ve come down on Kathab though who represents William Haggas and Jim Crowley, he’s a Kingman gelding who made a solid start to his racing career last month at Newmarket when finishing three-lengths behind the smart Passenger, who boosted the form in the Dante here on Thursday. If building on that effort he’s sure to have a big say.

The 4:45 is the penultimate race of the meeting and this is a Class 4 handicap that’s ridden over seven furlongs. I’m taking a chance on Ascot Adventure here for Jason Watson and David O’Meara. He made an encouraging start to life for this yard last month at Doncaster when finishing fifth of twelve, and he looks to be on a very tempting mark here which is a few pounds lower than his last winning one. I think he could go well in what is a slightly weaker looking race to what he’s been used too.

Bringing the curtain down is the 5:15 which is more handicap action but this time it’s over five furlongs. It’s a typically competitive York handicap which concludes the meeting and I think that Winter Crown could well send punters home happy for Graham Lee and Julie Camacho. He’s finished second on his last two outings, the most recent coming at Chester just last month. He still remains on the same mark and if running up to that level again he could go one better in this.



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