Given that 12 of the last 14 winners of the Dante went on to run in the Epsom Derby later in the same season and four of this collection completed the double, it’s fair to say that York’s Group 2 showpiece is a key trial for the fourth Classic of the campaign.
There are 12 runners lining up for the Dante this term, which means that the contest qualifies for the offer of Money Back if 2nd or 3rd to the SP Favourite on all Channel 4 races!*
The King of Stats has run the rule over the Dante to see which of this year’s entrants has most in common with the rollcall of previous winners. His selection can be seen below:
All of the last 10 winners had 2-6 previous races
This rules out Roger Varian’s Choreographer, who was a winner on his only start to date in a maiden at Windsor.
11 of last 14 finished in top three on last start
Apparent Aidan O’Brien first string Deauville is discarded after finishing fifth in the Racing Post Trophy, Kentuckyconnection occupied the same position when sent off 100/1 in the 2,000 Guineas and Top Beak is the final one to leave the shortlist after coming home last of seven in the Derby Trial won by So Di Mar at Epsom.
7 of the last 10 winners had previously won over 1m+
Muntazah is the only horse eliminated on this stat, on the basis that his sole success in four starts was in a 7f maiden at Leicester.
8 of the last 14 winners had also won on their last race
One of the market principles Foundation was turned over at odds-on in the Craven Stakes by Stormy Antarctic last time and so is ruled out, as is Harrison by virtue of being beaten over the Dante distance in a handicap at Sandown.
Just 3 of 10 had previously won at Group level
It seems like form at a high level doesn’t account to much in the Dante and so the favourite Midterm is ignored after his Group 3 Sandown success last month. Also, the market leader hasn’t won this since 2007.
9 of the last 10 winners made their debut over 7f or further
This is bad news for Sea Of Flames, who started his career finishing down the field over 6f at Newbury.
13 of the last 18 winners had previously raced at Newmarket, Doncaster, Newbury or Sandown
Of the remaining trio, O’Brien’s other runner Black Sea is overlooked, having never run outside of Ireland.
This leaves the bottom pair on the racecard Victory Bond (12/1) and Wings Of Desire (6/1) and preference is for the latter, especially given trainer John Gosden saddled the first two home in this 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, jockey Frankie Dettori rode three winners on the opening day of the Dante Festival, two of which being for Gosden.
*Money Back 2nd and 3rd to the SP favourite in any Channel 4 races with 8+ runners. Money Back 2nd if 5-7 runners. Click here for full Terms and Conditions.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.