York Dante Festival – Day 1 Preview and Tips

Always exciting to be at York, although the rain that’s fallen makes a card that was already tricky going even more so and results here might not be worth taking as absolute gospel with regards to the future.

In the Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap (2.20) Repercussion could take a step forward from his return at Newmarket in what has turned out to be a strong race with the winner finishing second in better company afterwards and the second and third since winning. That was his first run since arriving from Andre Fabre and whilst this is no easy task, he should have more to give and the ground shouldn’t be an issue either.

The Infinity Tyres Handicap (2.50) is always a minefield but Northgate Lad is interesting. He was behind Wentworth Falls at Ripon but he took a step forward from that to show some pace we hadn’t seen from him for a while when he was third at Pontefract behind two next time out winners. Being drawn 1 might not be helpful for his chances but it wouldn’t surprise if this test suited and he can go well.

Brando did well to catch Ornate in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and he ought to be suited by the rainfall that has occurred recently. He holds very strong claims of reversing his Champions Day defeat at the hands of The Tin Man, who is respected but who might be aiming at other targets this season like Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee. Suedois, who was placed in a string of top sprints last year, returned with a second in this and appeals as being a solid each/way alterative. Magical Memory won last year and whilst he wasn’t as good since, he has to be respected even without a recent run for his benefit.

Growl has graduated to top level sprints from handicaps and should be respected on the basis of his Ascot second on Champions Day even if this is his return. Jungle Cat ran well on yielding ground to finish second in the Al Quoz sprint but the faster the better for him to boot and Tupi, an impressive winner at Doncaster, has the services of Ryan Moore on board once again.

The lone 4/6 on Shutter Speed, an impressive winner on her return at Newbury, to take the Musidora, seems fair enough in light of the very impressive win of Enable in the Cheshire Oaks last week. She strode out extremely well that day but also had plenty of speed and the second was rated 110 so it’s no surprise anticipation is high for her return.

She should have a fair test here in the shape of Vociferous Marina, who improved a whole heap for stepping up to 10 furlongs for the first time when surprising at 20/1 in the Salsabil Stakes. She was going away at the finish having raced in rear and the second Pockfetullofdreams ran a fair race at Lingfield in the Oaks Trial when finishing second so we should learn something.

We will also learn plenty about Serenanda, a short head winner on her return, and Vintage Folly, who won on her debut at Newcastle in November.

Chessman has a big future but he’s short in the Conundrum HR Consulting Handicap (4.35) and the ground is an unknown for many contenders. In the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (5.05) it’s interesting to note that the form of Santry’s Brocklesby win is working out even if he does have to carry a penalty and the winner of this could be quite smart indeed.

The York Data Services Internet Cloud Solutions Handicap (5.35) looks ripe for an unexposed horse and St Malo would make appeal if handling the ground for Roger Varian, who does so well on the Knavesmire.


2.20 York – 1 pt each/way Repercussion (8/1 general)

2.50 York – 1 pt each/way Northgate Lad (12/1 general)

3.30 York – 1 pt each/way Suedois (13/2 general)