Horse Racing Tips

Dante Stakes: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Dante Stakes is the feature race at York on Thursday

"Landed the odds with a bit in hand in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom over this trip on return and he is high on the shortlist..."

Timeform on Epictetus

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.

Dante Stakes
15:35 York, Thursday
Live on ITV4

1. Canberra Legend (James Ferguson/Daniel Muscutt)
Cost 350,000 guineas as a yearling and justified market confidence with a comfortable debut win at Newcastle in February. He took the jump up in class in his stride when following up in Feilden Stakes at Newmarket last month, staying on well to lead in the closing stages. A nice type physically who is an exciting prospect, and has a similar profile to 2015 winner Golden Horn.

2. Continuous (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Looked potentially smart when winning both starts as a two-year-old, namely a maiden at the Curragh and a Group 3 over a mile at Saint-Cloud. The bare form isn't anything special, but represents powerful connections, and is sure to progress again and win more races. He isn't entered for the Derby, however.

3. Dancing Magic (Roger Teal/Kieran Shoemark)
Remains a maiden, but has been highly tried, finishing a good three lengths third of seven in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance last month. Bred to appreciate this step up in trip, but he is up against it again.

4. Dear My Friend (Charlie Johnston/Andrea Atzeni)
Pivotal colt who won novices at Carlisle and Beverley on his first two starts. He has continued his progress since, finishing four and a quarter lengths third to Flying Honours in the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket on his final two-year-old start before making a winning return in a listed race at Newcastle on return. More needed again, though.

5. Epictetus (John & Thady Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Showed very good form as a juvenile, winning at Newmarket (Flying Honours four and a half lengths behind) on debut before finishing runner-up in Group 2 Autumn Stakes there (Rowley Mile) and the Group 1 Futurity at Doncaster. Landed the odds with a bit in hand in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom over this trip on return and he is high on the shortlist.

6. Flying Honours (Charlie Appleby/William Buick)
Made up into a useful juvenile last season, following up his close third in the Royal Lodge (unsuited by slow pace) at Newmarket with win number three in the Zetland Stakes there in October. This son of Sea The Stars appeals as the type to progress further as a three-year-old so he's well in the mix for top connections.

7. Killybegs Warrior (Charlie Johnston/Franny Norton)
Dual winner over seven furlongs on the July Course at Newmarket last summer and has shown better form in defeat this year, finishing a good one and a quarter lengths third to Canberra Legend in a listed contest at Newmarket 29 days ago, albeit having the run of the race. No reason why he should reverse that form now, however.

8. King of Steel (Roger Varian/Kevin Stott)
Fast-tracked to Group 1 level after an impressive debut success at Nottingham but could manage only seventh in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. Remains with potential and he is an interesting contender now having his first start for Roger Varian and stepping up to a trip he should relish.

9. Liberty Lane (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)
Impressive debut winner at Nottingham on his sole two-year-old start, forging clear in the style of a good prospect. Finished a good second under a penalty to the now-smart Waipiro at Newmarket on his return and may do better again, but this looks a tough ask.

10. Passenger (Sir Michael Stoute/Richard Kingscote)
Ulysses colt who overcame inexperience to make a winning debut in maiden (Wood Ditton) at Newmarket four weeks ago, produced to lead in the final furlong and going clear. A scopey sort who surely has more to offer, it would be folly to ignore his claims, especially as his trainer has won this race a record seven times.

11. The Foxes (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Progressive Churchill colt who followed up his Goodwood maiden win in a slowly run but strong renewal of the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on his final start as a two-year-old. Solid return when runner-up in the Craven Stakes back there and should have more to offer over this longer trip. Must be considered.

12. White Birch (John Joseph Murphy/Shane Foley)
Confirmed debut promise to run out a ready winner of 13-runner maiden at Dundalk in November and took another big step forward when following up in six-runner Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown on return. Ground won't be as testing here but still warrants plenty of respect.

Recommended bets

Timeform's Analyst Verdict

This looks a wide-open renewal but Epictetus appeals as the most solid option. He had the best form at 2 yrs and confirmed his well-being when making a winning return in a listed event at Epsom. The Foxes also boasts strong 2-y-o form and he shaped very well when runner-up in the Craven at Newmarket, while stamina isn't a concern for Flying Honours, who promises to make a better 3-y-o.

1. Epictetus
2. The Foxes
3. Flying Honours


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.