Delegator has been a largely frustrating horse over time, but his prior form on a seasonal reappearance and a change in trip can ensure that he wins the Duke of York Stakes on the opening day of York’s Dante meeting.
The Group Two contest looks an open race on paper, with Regal Parade the current favourite in the Duke of York odds at 11/2.
However, although Saeed Bin Suroor’s horses have not been running particularly well, Delegator can kick off his season with a win for Godolphin.
Delegator was well beaten by Goldikova on his latest start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, but was in contention for a long period before fading late on.
This suggests that a drop to 6f for the first time may suit and he should also benefit at York with Rose Blossom liable to set a quick pace from the stalls.
Meanwhile, he tends to run well in his first race of a new calendar year, triumphing on two occasions out of three and finishing second on the other.
Delegator is 6/1 in the York odds and has certainly shown class in the past, most notably when chasing home Sea The Stars in the 2000 Guineas in 2009.
Regal Parade is likely to run well having previously won in Group One company, although it is doubtful whether he would ideally prefer a stiffer trip.
Of the other leading protagonists, Dalghar is 7/1 to win on his first start for Andrew Balding, but the trainer’s horses have not been in great form in their first runs of the season, while Betfred Sprint Cup winner Markab may find his 5lb penalty for this victory too much of an obstacle to overcome.
A £30 stake on Delegator winning the Duke of York Stakes would return £180. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.