Best Bets For York Dante Festival – Wednesday 17th May 2017

Attention moves to York this week up on the Knavesmire for the Dante Festival.
The first of the big races this week is at 3.30 the Group Two Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes over the six.   The Tin Man heads a field of 13 having posted a career best effort in the G.1 Champions Sprint at Ascot (6f) last back end where he proved a length too strong for Growl with Brando back in third. He does have a penalty to carry in this. Brando and Growl were first and second in the Ayr Gold Cup prior to that and are naturally feared. Last years winner Magical Memory is back again and Charlie Hills and owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds have their fingers crossed conditions will not deteriorate. "We're looking forward to it. He's in great shape and has been working very well at home. He'll come on for it, but we are worried about all the rain that's about," said Kennet Valley's racing manager, Sam Hoskins. "The ground got him beaten well and truly at Haydock and if it got very soft it would be a major concern.”  Suedois who was second last year is also back and  both will enter some peoples calculations but they both had previous runs last season, a benefit neither has this year. Three runners will carry the Godolphin blue, Baccarat, Comicas and Jungle Cat with the last named of the most interest I feel. The five-year-old made the frame in the G.3 Palace House at Newmarket and G.1 King's Stand at Royal Ascot last term and has been in good form in Dubai during the Carnival culminating in a decent fourth in the G.1 Al Quoz Sprint. Drawn in seven he is ideally placed to go where the pace is, has gone well in soft before so the rain won’t bother him and with ‘match fitness’ at 11-1 to my eyes is as good an each-way punt as you will see all week.

John Gosden's unbeaten filly Shutter Speed puts her Classic credentials on the line in the Group Three Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at 4.05. Shutter Speed beat stablemate Enable at Newbury earlier in the season and Enable has subsequently boosted the form by winning last week's Cheshire Oaks. Both fillies are owned by Khalid Abdullah and his racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, intimated after the race on the Roodee that Enable could heading to Epsom with Shutter Speed going to France due to stamina concerns. The Dansili filly will tackle an extended 10 furlongs on the Knavesmire. "Shutter Speed won nicely at Newbury and we rather feel, at this stage, around a mile and a quarter is her trip," said Gosden earlier this week. "When she ran at Newbury, the plan was the Musidora. We said that straight away and we're staying with the plan. She is a nice type of filly - she could do no more than what she has done so far." She is effectively un-backable at 2-5 but if she is to go on to the Prix de Diane at Chantilly (1m 2½f) she needs to be winning this; that said the rain will not be welcomed by connections.
Out at Happy Valley in Hong Kong Jetwings is out in the France Galop Cup, race 7 on the card due off at 3.15. I put the chestnut gelding up back on 22nd February when fourth after 14 months off the track and he went straight into the notebook. He duly won next time out on 15th March – bang in the middle of the Cheltenham Festival and I missed it! He didn’t run on 26th April due to another little niggle. Drawn in two for this he should be able to sit in just behind the early pace and come with a late surge as is his preferred style of running. You can get 5-2 early.

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