Dante Festival (York) Day One Betting Tips – Wednesday 16th May 2018

We’ve got some excellent midweek racing action this week as York lays on its always informative Dante meeting. The opening day looks set to be lit up by one of the sprinting stars of last season, as Clive Cox’s Harry Angel rolls into town in the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, whilst we have high quality fillies action in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes.

With intriguing handicap puzzles and novice contests featuring on the undercard, here we pick out our best bets for each of the day’s seven contests.

2.20 – Jorvik Handicap (Class 2), 1m4f

Hamada to win at 9/4 with Coral

An interesting handicap to kick of the day’s action. Banksea looks solid to go well from the top of the weights, whilst Contango is an interesting each way option having only seemed to be undone by his welter-burden when last seen over this trip at the Shergar Cup meeting in August.

If there is one horse who may be well in at the weights though it is surely Charlie Appleby’s Hamada. Beaten by just one and three quarter lengths by the now 101 rated Atty Persse in a maiden last season, he has shown progression for each step up in trip. Not having to be asked for maximum effort when scoring over this distance at Wolverhampton last time, he looks to have room for manoeuvre off a mark of 92 and can go close for William Buick.

2.55 – Infinity Tyres Handicap (Class 2), 6f

Classic Seniority each way at 20/1 with Ladbrokes

Sticking with the handicappers, we have a big field set to go to post in our next contest for the sprinters. Each of the past 10 winners here have been six or under, which would suggest the older performers in the line-up may be up against it.

The one who we like at a nice each way price is the Marjorie Fife runner, Classic Seniority. Form figures at the track of 3130 certainly bode well for the six year old’s prospects of making the frame, and having twice won off a mark of 90, a mark of 91 entitles him to be right on the premises. In addition, this is likely to be run at a good clip and we see his proven stamina for seven lengths being an advantage in the closing stages.

3.30 – Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2), 6f

Harry Angel to win at Evens with Coral

The first Group class contest of the meeting up next, with William Haggas’s Tasleet returning to defend his crown. This quick and consistent son of Showcasing is one for the shortlist, as are the progressive Sir Dancealot and recent Group 3 winner Brando from the yard of Kevin Ryan.

No doubt about the one they all have to beat here though, as this race sees the return to the track of last season’s Champion Sprinter, Harry Angel. He is saddled with a five pounds Group 1 winner’s penalty which will bring the field closer, but being seven pounds clear of his rivals on official ratings and with the prospect of more to come as a now four year old, they shouldn’t get close enough. Take Harry Angel to be too quick for them all.

4.05 – Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Group 3), 1m2½f

Ejtyah each way at 8/1 with Bet365

Having won this in each of the past three years, anything John Gosden sends to post is clearly worthy of the utmost respect. It is the daughter of Nathaniel, Highgarden, who flies the flag for the Newmarket handler this year and she looks set to go off favourite on the day. She will need to improve on her third first time out this season though, with the second from that race, Give And Take amongst those in opposition.

Ceilidh’s Dream posted a remarkable effort to score at Newmarket last time out having badly missed the break, but looks short enough considering she is stepping up over two furlongs in trip.

With slight question marks against those towards the head of the betting, we prefer an each way punt here. David Simcock’s daughter of Frankel, Ejtyah was an eye-catching winner on debut at Chelmsford last season, and the fact that she is plunged straight into this on her first start at three suggests that she is showing plenty at home. Entered in the Oaks, she looks worth taking a chance on at the prices.

4.35 – Conundrum HR Consulting Handicap (Class 3), 7f

Flavius Titus each way

The strongest trend in evidence for our next contest concerns the draw, with eight of the past 10 winners starting from a single figure berth. Sticking with that trend allows us to trim this big field down considerably.

Roger Varian’s Flavius Titus is the one for us here. Already a winner at the trip, he ran a solid race when fourth at Lingfield off this mark of 82 last time out, doing all his best work late. On what will be just his fourth career start, he can be expected to step up on that first run of the season and looks set to be involved.

5.05 – British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Class 3), 5f

Beika each way

Another contest where low numbers seem to be favoured, with nine of the past 10 winners emerging from stall five or below.

Not a whole lot of form to go on, with a number of these making their racecourse debut. Not a race for maximum stakes but one who may go well at likely decent odds is the Tony Coyle runner, Beika. Sire, Kodiac, does well with his two year olds, and has ben responsible for the winner here twice in the past four years. With more fashionable yards represented, this one may be a little overlooked and is worth an each way punt coming out of stall one.

5.35 – Oaks Farm Stables Handicap (Class 4), 1m4f

Zeelander to win 

Roger Varian’s nicely bred Zeelander could be the one in the finale. A full brother to the Group 3 winner, Danadana, this son of Dubawi posted an eye-catching effort on his final start last year. Racing away from the action at Windsor, he slowly ground his way into it over that one mile, three and half furlong trip and was well on top at the line.

Whilst he is up six pounds here, this step up in trip and stiffer track may well see him in an even better light. Doctor Cross is another who looks solid to go well for Richard Fahey who does well at this track, but the lightly raced Zeelander is the one for us.