York Dante Festival – Day Two Preview

It is Mental Health Awareness Week I am told, well, that Musidora on Wednesday didn't do my mental health a lot of good I can tell you; Moore gave the others a riding lesson! Day two up on the Knavesmire and we have the race the meeting is named after the Group two Dante Stakes to look forward to on a decent card. I fancy four on the day and the details follow.  

Best bets for day two of the York Dante Festival

At 2.10 it is the 1m2½f Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies' Stakes, only six are due to go top post but it could be a really good little race. The Aidan O’Brien trained Passion is top-rated following a run of consistent efforts last season culminating in a third place in the G.1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes when last seen in October. She obviously has some talent but has got in the habit of running well without winning. Sir Michael Stoute’s chestnut mare Queen Power is the leading British-trained hope having finished second, beaten just a head, in the G.2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month. She has a bit to find on paper with the Irish raider but should have the fitness edge and we all know that Stoute tends to get the best out of his horses as they mature. I am on at the 15-8 with Power that I took on Tuesday.  

The main event is at 3.10 the 1m2½f Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes. The Dante is one of the ‘trials’ that you really do have to take notice of. In total, ten winners of the race have gone on to Derby glory the most recent being Golden Horn in 2015. The race has thrown up some good’uns in recent years with 2014 winner The Grey Gatsby going on to win the Prix du Jockey Club and 2015 runner-up behind Golden Horn Jack Hobbs winning the Irish Derby whilst 2018 winner Roaring Lion went on to win the Eclipse and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes amongst other Group Ones. It has been well reported that High Definition missed Lingfield last weekend due to high levels of Serum Amyloid A (SAA) in a blood test last week. He has travelled over for this and O’Brien said speaking to the Racing Post on Monday "We're happy with what he did this morning so the plan is for him to be declared. His bloods were done this morning and we won't get the results back until the evening. If his bloods are okay, then the plan is for him to be declared and it'll be done again in the morning. If that's okay then he'll be going." Gear Up won the 1m2f G.1 Criterium De Saint-Cloud last back end on heavy and all the rain that has been about hasn’t hurt his chances and he should be respected. Hurricane Lane the chestnut son of Frankel is two from two thus far in his career. Dam Gale Force won up to two-miles and full-brother Frankel’s Storm won over a mile-and-a-half so middle distances really should be his game. Having won a mile Novice Stakes on heavy ground on sole start as a two-year-old at HQ last back end he then came out and won a 10f Conditions race at Newbury on his three-year-old debut last month looking a promising sort; second that day Maximal filled the same position in the Listed Dee Stakes in his next run and fourth River Alwen won a decent handicap at Newmarket so the form looks pretty strong. Comes for this rather than the Listed Lingfield Trail last weekend. At 13-2, which is what I have, he looks a fair bet against the two heading the market as he has shown some talent and guts in his two runs to date and you can’t knock that plus to my eye ground  just on the softer side of good over ten furlongs on the Knavesmire with its lovely long run-in that will take some getting should be right up his street.

The Listed 5f Westow Stakes at 3.40 could be a pretty competitive little affair but I like one and I will be backing her. Winter Power improved pretty much with every run last season, you can ignore the Flying Childers Stakes form as she was in the wrong group there, and she signed off her 3-y-o campaign by winning the G.3 Cornwallis Stakes in nice style. She is bred to be all about speed, races prominently or front running, and is possibly one to keep on side of this year. The yard has been amongst the winners this month which is a bonus and I am on at 11-4.  

It’s another race with some potentially nice two-year-olds at 4.15 the 6f Constant Security ebfstallions.com Maiden Stakes. Charlie Appleby had two entered here, Fall Of Rome who I tipped when second at Ascot over the weekend, and Albahr who will line-up (was also entered at Newbury Friday). He is a son of Dubawi out of Falls Of Lora making him a half-brother to some decent ones including G.1 winner in Australia Cascadian, who won on debut when trained by Andre Fabre in France. It is a bit of a leap of faith but I am going to be backing him at the best price I ca get as and when the Bookies eventually price-up the race.

Be lucky