Day Two York Dante Festival best bets Thursday 16th May

I thought my run of bad luck was going to continue on Wednesday with Yafta finishing 3rd and then Frankellina coming 2nd in the Musidora having given away lengths at the start; Space Blues got the job done though and I hope you got the 7-1 that was about Tuesday evening. 

Thursday is day two on the Knavesmire up at York and the race the meeting is named after the Dante takes centre stage. We will see a future Derby winner? I hope so.  

The Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies' Stakes over 1m2f sees the much-hyped Lah Ti Dar make her seasonal reappearance and she is duly odds-on and basically unbackable; it should be remembered though she was beaten when short-priced favourite her last two starts at three. If she gets turned over again the globetrotting Nyaleti might be the one to benefit following her second in the G.2 Dahlia Stakes ten days ago. There is a nagging doubt that she might be happier with a bit more give in the ground but at 15-2 if the jolly flatters to deceive again the grey will be right there to take advantage.  

The main event is, of course, the Group Two Dante itself at 3.00. In total ten winners of the race have gone on and achieved victory in the Derby down the years. The first was St Paddy back in 1960, and the most recent was Golden Horn in 2015. The Classic Trials thus far this season have been dominated by Ballydoyle but Too Darn Hot is back on track and I expect the colt to show everyone just how good he is and all being well he’ll be back into short priced favouritism by Thursday evening for the big one at Epsom as I am on ante-post at 6-1 and 9-2. I have a bit of the 6-4 on Thursday. Gosden isn’t giving much away but did say earlier this week “He worked very nicely on Friday with Frankie, and did two nice canters on Saturday morning. I’ve no doubt in my mind he will improve for it. Certainly, another 10 days to prepare him would have been suitable, but we have no more time to play with now.” Japan represents Aidan O’Brien whilst Godolphin's Breeders' Cup winner Line Of Duty (was my ante-post punt for the 2,000 Guineas and didn’t run) is also here and they can fill the places.

Soldiers Call has to give them all weight in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes over 5f at 4.05 but is fancied to do so. I put him up when a gallant third in the G.1 Prix De L'Abbaye and for the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint where he missed the up and finished sixth. He is all about speed and is expected to take this on his way to an engagement at Royal Ascot in the G.1 Kings Stand.  Get on at 15-8. 

Be lucky