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Day 1 Dante Meeting Preview: A Friendly Soul On The Knavesmire

The Dante meeting at York is always one of my favourite Flat meetings of the year, and it has often been a profitable festival for me in the past. The feature race on Day 1 is the Musidora Stakes, so it will be interesting to see if any Epsom contenders emerge.
ITV Racing Preview Newmarket And Goodwood

2.15 York – Klondike (Win)

We’ve not seen Klondike since he disappointed at Newbury last August, but I think some of his form reads well. He campaigned at a high last season and wasn’t disgraced. Furthermore, if you look at his pedigree, he’s bred to improve with age, so it’s likely we’ve not seen the best of him yet. If he does have to overcome topweight on his handicap debut, he could just be the classiest horse in the field.

Haggas knows what it takes to win this race, winning two of the last three renewals, and with the yard starting to come into form, I think he has a strong chance of going well.

2.45 York – Wobwobwob (Each Way) / Abate (Each Way)

These big field sprint handicaps at York can sometimes be a nightmare for punters; however, there are a couple I like here. 

The first one is Wobwobwob for Adrian Keatley. I’ve always been a fan of this horse, and he’s done me a few favours over the years. The son of Prince Of Lir was a good winner at Thirsk the last time we saw him. He’s been campaigned over a few trips in his career, but since his connections have persisted over 6f he’s looked like a different horse. He is now 4lb higher than his last run, but I think he might have a bit more improvement. If they go hard, he could be the one finishing well.

My other selection is Abate. He’s a horse that likes to go forward and do his rivals for speed. Sometimes that style of running can pay off on the sprint track at York, as it can take a lot of horses out of their comfort zone. The eight-year-old gelding doesn’t have a bad record on the Knavesmire, previously winning over the course and distance. Mia Nicholls will take the ride for her dad, and she’s able to claim a handy 5lbs. If she can ping him out of the gates, he could be hard to catch.

3.15 York – Mill Stream (Each Way)

I’ve been beating the drum for a while about Mill Stream. I thought he shaped well to finish second in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket last month. He just seems to be a sprinter going places. Coming to York won’t be an issue, as he ran well here as a three-year-old behind Quinault last season. Moreover, the forecast rain shouldn’t dampen his chances, as he won a Group 3 in France in 2023. With William Buick booked for the ride, I think he can take a step forward and get his head in front.

3.45 York – Friendly Soul (Win)

The way Friendly Soul won at Newmarket last time out was very impressive. She beat a filly called Kalpana, who I thought was a smart horse when she bolted up at the Craven meeting.

If you look at her pedigree, she’s related to a lot of good horses, including Call The Wind, who was a very effective stayer. 

It’s interesting to see John and Thady Gosden rolling the dice again very quickly. Furthermore, they have a good record in this race, as they’ve won the previous two renewals. If she wins this well, then connections will surely supplement her for Epsom.

4.15 York – Thursday’s Child (Each Way)

This filly has certainly surprised a few people, and I thought there was a lot to like about the way she won at Pontefract last month, defying a penalty. The daughter of Harry Angel remains undefeated after two starts, and her opening mark of 84 looks workable on her handicap debut. Also, if there is any juice in the ground, she won’t mind it. I think she’s definitely worth an each-way play.

4.45 York – Shadow Army (Each Way)

There are plenty of fascinating horses making their racecourse debut here, but I am drawn to Shadow Army. He’s got a nice pedigree, and his dam was Marie Of Lyon, who was also trained by Richard Fahey. She won at York first time out for him, so it’s interesting to see connections starting him off here. With the yard’s two-year-old coming to hand, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go well.

5.20 York – Burglar’s Dream (Each Way)

I thought Burglar’s Dream shaped with some promise when finishing second at Beverley on seasonal return last month. That run was over 1m2f, and I think the extra couple of furlongs will suit him here as he’s bred to appreciate further. Tim Easterby’s horses tend to need a run, so I’d expect him to be in better shape this time around. He’s got a nice low racing weight, so I am hoping he can make the frame for us.

The Dante is always a great meeting, so if you are having a bet, please remember to gamble responsibly.

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The Dante meeting at York is always one of my favourite Flat meetings of the year, and it has often been a profitable festival for me in the past. The feature race on Day 1 is the Musidora Stakes, so it will be interesting to see if any Epsom contenders emerge.
Read also...