York Dante Festival – Day Three Preview

And so, we come to the final day of the York Dante Festival on Friday. Following an annoying Wednesday, Thursday was a very good day for me and hopefully I have a couple of winners up my sleeve for Friday. It should stay dry all being well and the going could well be straightforward good by the time they race.  

Best bets for day three of the York Dante Festival

The 2.10 Listed Oaks Farm Stables Fillies' Stakes over a mile has some very interesting runners entered and looks like being a decent race. I can make a case for a few. Creative Flair is one I have talked of before and tipped her when she won last month at Ascot going over a mile for the first time. She is now two wins from three starts and clearly has a bit about her. I was tempted to back her each-way but haven’t. Snow Lantern was a few people's idea of a dark horse for the Guineas but trainer Richard Hannon had said he wouldn’t rush her and the grey filly was nowhere to be seen at HQ. By Dubawi out of 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes winner Sky Lantern she is certainly bred to be top-class and she looked a nice prospect for the season when winning a Maiden over a mile for little more than hands and heels riding at Newbury in April; she had finished second to Zabeel Queen on her one run at two at Ascot. Hannon said after that she would probably come here for this or the Musidora rather than the Guineas adding at the time "Either of these races will give us a good guide on where we stand for the rest of the season with her. She also holds entries in the Cazoo Oaks and Prix de Diane and these engagements will be dependent on her York performance. There are plenty of options coming up for her. She is a special filly, with a beautiful pedigree and has already proved an exciting prospect for her owner-breeders Rockcliffe Stud."  She did look one to follow and I am on here her at the 13-8 overnight.  

Next at 2.40 it is the 1m2f Matchbook 'Best Value' Exchange Handicap. Irish Admiral won on stable debut at odds-on on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton last month only needing to be pushed out to complete a straightforward task. Mark of 95 on his handicap debut could prove very workable, placed-up in a Listed heat at Leopardstown at two before moving to William Haggas, and the step-up in trip should suit. I have the 9-2.  

3.10 1m6f Group Two Matchbook Yorkshire Cup Stakes a number of the usual suspects headed the market for this last week despite the fact they were unlikely to run. Of those left in recent winner over 1m4f Sir Ron Priestley is stepping back up in trip and Nayef Road, stepping down, are both running for Mark Johnston. G.1 Irish Derby winner Santiago continues over longer trips having run fourth in the St Leger last season. He was third in the G.1 Goodwood Cup before that as a three-year-old and started his four-year-old campaign finishing fourth in the G.3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan last month, probably needing the run; he moved up stylishly with two to go and looked the winner before lack of match-fitness told. I have the 9-4 about him getting back to winning ways here. 

Be lucky