York Dante Festival 2023 - Day Two Preview

It was a tough day on day one at York; the shortest priced winner was 17-2 and there was four double-figure winners on the card, a good day to be a Bookie! On to day two we go up on the Knavesmire and it’s another tricky punting day. The going is good-good to firm in places and fingers crossed it should stay dry.

Best bets for Day Two of the York Dante Festival

I am avoiding the 5f handicap opener so the first race of interest to me is the 1m2f Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies' Stakes at 2.25. Free Wind was seen just the once last season when the daughter of Galileo won the G.2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock despite being badly hampered just as the race got going. I tipped her that day and said at the time I expected to see her competing at the top-table sooner rather than later. Sadly we didn’t get to see her again but she is here and she looks certain to have more to offer this season as a lightly raced five-year-old. I have the 5-4 overnight.

The race the meeting is named after the Group Two 1m2½f Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes is due off at 3.35 and it looks a wide-open renewal. The Foxes put is a decent effort when runner-up in the Craven Stakes and could have more to offer over this sort of trip. Continuous won both his starts last season and the raider from Ballydoyle has an entry in the Derby so has to be considered. Epictetus won the Listed Blue Ribband Trial at Epsom on his seasonal debut and is another with a Derby entry. I wonder if he may be better on softer though; it was soft a Epsom when he won and his second in the G.1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster last back end was of course on heavy. Passenger won well on his belated debut last month but this is a big step-up in class as well as a step-up in trip. I have heard it said that Charlie Appleby likes to send his big Derby hope for this which makes Flying Honours very interesting. I have tipped the colt more than once and I am on record here on the site before his G.3 Zetland Stakes victory last back end, when I tipped him, as saying 1m2f-1m4f will be his game this year. By Sea The Stars out of G.3 winner in France Powder Snow it’s a pedigree that certainly suggests middle-distances and he will surely find himself at the top of the betting for Epsom with stable mate Military Order if he wins this. Charlie Appleby said on the Godolphin website this week “Flying Honours was meant to run at Sandown last month, but the meeting was abandoned, so we took him for a racecourse gallop at Newmarket instead. We were very pleased with how that went and he goes into this in great order. We know that he gets this trip, having won the Zetland on his final two-year-old start, and feel that he has the scope to improve again as we step him up over further. It looks a competitive renewal of the Dante and whoever wins will be a leading player for the Derby." I am on the Godolphin colt at 5-1 overnight.

Best bet for the horse racing at Newmarket

Just in case everything going on at York wasn’t enough for you over at HQ the three-day Spring Meeting gets underway on the Rowley Mile Thursday evening; they then race on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The race of interest to me at HQ is the 5.45 National Stud Fillies' Handicap over the mile. Star Guest got off the mark at the third attempt back in January and may have got in here off a nice opening handicap mark of 76. Headed in final strides when neck second in 7f novice stakes at Lingfield in December 202 on debut it was the same story again when beaten by half a length (headed late) at Kempton over a mile in January, as mentioned she came good at the third time of asking back at Lingfield again over a mile. I have taken 5-2 overnight as I though she’d be shorter.

Charlie Appleby has three in the 7f Rajasinghe At The National Stud Maiden Fillies' Stakes at 6.20 with Spring Dawn odds-on. Keep an eye on English Rose and Beautiful Summer, they may not win on Thursday but he normally starts one he likes off here.