Looking back over the last decade, there is no doubting that the Dante Stakes has been the most productive trial for the Epsom Derby.
Nine horses have attempted to complete the win-double at York and Epsom, with North Light, Motivator and Authorized all successful in this quest, following in the footsteps of the likes of Shirley Heights, Erhaab and Benny The Dip from further back in time.
Meanwhile, another three of these nine horses have filled the each-way places in the Derby, with Tartan Bearer chasing home New Approach in 2008, Carlton House taking third behind Pour Moi in 2011 and Libertarian leaving it too late behind Ruler Of The World in second 12 months ago.
This year’s Dante could throw up another big talent, with the defections of Kingston Hill and Marzocco leaving the door wide open for True Story to build on an impressive seven-length success in a Newmarket Listed contest last time.
True Story is currently rated 116, which is 8lb better than any of the other Dante runners and he comfortably dispatched of opposition rated 112 and 110 at Newmarket.
Meanwhile, the fourth from that race, Barley Mow, has returned to the track since and triumphed in another Listed race off a mark of 107.
Authorized was also rated 116 ahead of his Dante success, with Motivator 117 and North Light winning before being given an official rating.
Ladbrokes are currently offering the top industry odds of 6/1 on True Story winning the Epsom Derby and this is an each-way price that should be snapped up now, given the advantage he seems to have in the Dante.
The only Dante doubts that exist over True Story is that he has never previously encountered soft ground (although none of the field have winning form on this type of going) and the record in the race of trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The four-time British champion trainer has run seven horses in the Dante in the last decade and only one has even filled the places, but a first victory since Moon Ballad in 2002 looks incredibly tough to oppose here, which would substantially boost his Derby claims.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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