Dante Stakes: What O’Brien and Moore can do for you at York


John Gosden’s unbeaten colt Jack Hobbs is 4/1 favourite for the Investec Derby and 3/1 jolly at York for the Dante Stakes, despite massive question marks hanging over the horse’s form to date.

The sum total of Jack Hobbs’ efforts under rules so far have been a 3l win at 1/1 in a Wolverhampton maiden on the All-Weather just after Xmas, followed by an admittedly impressive 12l romp at Sandown last month, although the race looks weak in hindsight.

Furthermore, Gosden hasn’t won Epsom’s main event since 1997, when Benny The Dip just about held off Silver Patriarch on the line, and has never taken the Dante despite sending out four runners, who went off between 7/2 and 8/1, over the past eight years.

At 5/2, Jack Hobbs can’t be touched in a tough race which includes 10/3 shot John F Kennedy for trainer Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

John F Kennedy bombed spectacularly when 1/4 favourite at Leopardstown last month, but that was on soft-to-heavy ground.

It will be good at worst at York, and the Galileo colt has won over good-to-firm and yielding (good-to-soft) ground so far in his four starts, and claimed a decent second in fast conditions last July.

His problems last-time-out haven’t stopped punters getting on board at a top price of 8/1 with Ladbrokes about him winning the Derby, making him the shortest of O’Brien’s contingent.

Considering the King of Ballydoyle is going for his fourth Derby on the spin, that looks a good bet, and with Ryan Moore onboard for the Dante, John F Kennedy looks far too big at 10/3.

Moore won this last year on The Grey Gatsby, his third triumph in the race, while O’Brien has also managed three Dante victories in the past decade, and four overall.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.