York Dante Festival day two
Frank Monkhouse | 18 May 2017
What catches the eye on Thursday
The group two Dante Stakes tops the bill for horse racing backers on Thursday, with the highlight of York’s festival scheduled for a 3.30pm start. You can back the champion of the big one, or have your say on any of the day’s racing, right here at Coral. Click to find those winners!
Wednesday was a difficult round for punters, but we’re confident the meeting will spring to life on Thursday, boosting our betting balance in good time of the weekend. We give our views on the Dante Stakes below, as well as a bet worth having in the Middleton Stakes. If you’re targeting big returns, scroll to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a selection in every race, which can be used in your multiple bets.
Big price upset in Dante Stakes
The 2017 renewal of the Dante Stakes has attracted a fierce six-runner field, and Coral’s traders at the Stratford HQ have thrown their support behind Cracksman, 5/2 leader in the current market. It’s difficult to argue against that stance, with Dettori riding for Gosden, which proved a winning combination last year on Wings Of Desire, but we’re going to take a chance and oppose the shortest price.
With a touch of value in mind, we take a pop at big price outsider Syphax, who has been scratched up as a 22/1 shot. Jamie Spencer takes the ride for trainer Kevin Ryan, and the pick goes into the day with two wins and a runner-up from three starts. Making a perfect start at Musselburgh, he followed that with victory in the group three Acomb Stakes, beating odds-on Best of Days by a head, again off a chunky SP.
Improvement expected from Syphax
Another big run was expected when making his first outing of the year at Newcastle last month over one mile five furlongs, but found Forest Ranger too good on the day. The market seems to have had that effort in mind when putting a line through his chances, but excuses can be made and, with the run under his belt, and the cobwebs blown off, we should see better.
Syphax’s trainer Kevin Ryan has Dante form on side, banking the prize money with The Grey Gatsby back in 2014. The selection looks bigger than it should be, and deserves a play at interest stakes, in the hope of landing an upset.
Dettori to do a job on talented filly
The race before, Middleton Stakes (2.55pm), a 1m 2f fillies’ group two, has attracted another competitive field, but we find ourselves in complete agreement with the betting this time, following the money on favourite So Mi Dar, who looks worth the evens quote currently available.
Another Gosden/Dettori hope, she landed the spoils over track and trip last year in the Musidora Stakes, trailing home the field, as expected, by a sizeable margin. So Mi Dar hasn’t been seen since October – third in the fillies’ group one Prix De L’Opera at Chantilly. Has been widely-tipped to recover from that setback and would’ve benefited from the time away.
2.20 – Gamesome
2.55 – So Mi Dar
3.30 – Syphax
4.05 – Murad Khan
4.35 – Brian The Snail
5.05 – Makanah
5.35 – Grumeti