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York Dante Meeting - Thursday preview

YORK Thursday

Well Day 1 was a rather trying day. Track of Time ran stone motherless last, Hispanic tragically broke a leg and has gone to the big horse paddock in the sky, Showalong drifted heavily and tired out accordingly, Classical Song looked fat in the parade ring and could only finish third behind a couple of longshots, then Ziggy's Condor looked home for all money to save the day... and then got nutted on the line at 10/1. So close, yet so far... 

As Yazz used to sing, the only way is up...

1415 Lindum York Handicap

JM Jungle won a decent race in Bahrain in February but was disqualified for some reason (nothing in the stewards report!) so we're guessing whether it was for interference, a drug infraction or the jockey weighed in light. Last time out, he ran a decent fourth at Musselburgh after 60 days off so he'll be fitter for this. Generally runs well here, slight doubt on the form of jockey Jason Hart, winning only twice from his last 52 rides. He's much better than that!

Copper Knight is a pensioner these days but showed some form last week at Chester and will give them something to chase. Has won here numerous times. 

Looking For Lynda has won here in the past and should be rock hard fit after three run already this season.

JM JUNGLE, Copper Knight, Looking For Lynda


1445 Hambleton Handicap

Point Lynas has had a long break of 250 days since his last run, but to emphasise the class of this horse, that was in a Group 3 at Haydock. He is such an honest galloper but he doesn't get his head in front often enough - his Flat record is two wins and seven seconds from 20 starts, with a C&D record of 2-2-2 from his last three visits here - by a head, a head and lost via a stewards' enquiry. 

Dutch Decoy is another honest handicapper deserving a win. The Owners Group galloper has gone close in so many Class 2 handicaps over the past year, with his two failures amongst nine runs within 3.25L of the winner easily attributed to soft going. Will be right in the finish again. 

Symbol of Light and Master Richard are both chances at odds but have to deal with awkward draws.

POINT LYNAS, Dutch Decoy, Symbol of Light, Master Richard


1515 Middleton Fillies' Stakes

Free Wind registered her only win of last season first up in this race but she spent the rest of the year racing in stronger company, highlighted by a trip to Paris to run in the Arc (well beaten in 13th). Also ran in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks in August, beaten a head by Warm Heart (future winner of the Prix Vermeille and Pegasus World Cup Turf) when held up for a run. Oldest in the field but lightly raced for a 6yo and deserves to be favourite.

Sapphire Seas won four in a row last season and was only beaten by a stablemate in a G2 at Meydan in February. The Charlie Appleby yard is firing again this season, she's right in the mix.

Infinite Cosmos has just the four starts in her locker so far, will get better with time and it would be no surprise if she goes close here.

FREE WIND, Sapphire Seas. Infinite Cosmos.


1545 Dante Stakes

The form around Al Musmak from the G2 Royal Lodge back in September has been solidly franked with Ghostwriter (winner, fourth in the 2000 Guineas), Capulet (third, won Dee Stakes at Chester last week), Macduff (fourth, 2nd in G3 Classic Trial at Sandown) as solid formlines. He's had seven months off so fitness is a concern but with the Derby so close, surely he's tuned up for this.

Ancient Wisdom is very hard to oppose. He won four of his five races as a 2yo, now he resumes after 201 days off. Worth noting in his one defeat at Ascot last July, he did finish behind Al Musmak. He was spelled after that then came back later in the season to win the G3 Autumn Stakes and the G1 Futurity in October on wet tracks.

Caviar Heights took three runs to win his maiden last season then came last in a G2 but has turned a corner in 2024. He ran third on seasonal debut in the Feilden Stks at 50/1, followed by a win over this trip in the Listed Newmarket Stakes. There seems to be more to come, and by Sea The Stars, he's a sneaky Derby chance.

AL MUSMAK, Ancient Wisdom, Caviar Heights


1615 Westow Stakes

Big Evs won the Juvenil Turf Sprint at the Breeders Cup last season and is a class above these. A 5lb penalty against this opposition shouldn't be any trouble, hence the odds-on price. He'll have much bigger targets this season. 

Kylian had a boom on him last season and started only 5/2 last time, when behind Big Evs in the G2 Flying Childers. Has plenty of talent but his dam also peaked early in her 2yo season and then trained off. That could be important or simply small sample noise. Would need to have improved on last season to beat the favourite, but a stable switch to Archie Watson may help.

Sommelier has been flying on the AW recording some strong figures but failed last time in the 3yo AW Championships race after 88 days off. The in-form Oisin Murphy steps aboard and back to his best efforts here, he can compete for place money.

BIG EVS, Sommelier, Kylian


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