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Man On The Spot previews all the action from the second day of York's Dante Meeting.
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Judge 'n Jury won this on good ground a year ago when stablemate Secret Witness was beaten a neck with Magical Macey just behind in third. Bedloe's Island was only just over a length back in 6th with HAZELRIGG, Ancient Cross and Fitz Flyer further in arrears. The recent rain will aid the winner but Bedloe's Island would have preferred quicker going, though arrives in top form having beaten a big field at Thirsk. Tim Easterby's charge earns the vote having subsequently been beaten a short-head by Judge 'n Jury then beating Secret Witness a head, both over the course and distance and now better off at the weights with both. Mister Manannan bounced back to winning form at Beverley and failed to obtain a clear run at Chester so he's on the short-list as is Dinkum Diamond, who is generally found in slightly higher grade. Jamaican Bolt is suited by plenty of give though was behind the selection here in July and the lightly-raced Cheworee has gone up 4lb for landing a Class 4 handicap at Windsor.
Seven of the last ten favourites have won this and two of the last four have been carrying penalties as is DALKALA. The French raider won a Group 2 at Longchamp on heavy ground but is equally at home on good going and her quality can see her through. Starscope finished runner-up in the 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes but didn't go through with her effort on her final start at Sandown when Ladys First finished in front of her. She's had a long break and connections will be hoping she can recapture her best form. None of the remainder have won above Listed level but Cubanita looked as though she could step up after beating Sajjhaa at Doncaster and she's had very little racing.
Aidan O'Brien won four Derby trials last week and will be hoping Indian Chief can provide him with another. By Montjeu, he's likely to be suited by a bit of give in the ground and could hardly have been more impressive when landing a Leopardstown maiden on his comeback. Fellow Irish raider Trading Leather, who won the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket in October, can't have been at his best when well beaten in the Racing Post Trophy and Jim Bolger will have him spot-on here. The Tattersalls Millions two-year-old winner Ghurair reappeared as a short-priced favourite for a similar race last month but couldn't quite cope with Windhoek and GREATWOOD. The winner has since easily landed a Listed contest and has more to offer but it's the runner-up who can come out best here and advertise his Epsom claims as he was staying on strongly and will be better suited by the ease in the ground. Secret Number ran a fine race behind the Aidan O'Brien trained Lines Of Battle at Meydan and also enters the equation.
St Moritz won this in 2011 from a 9lb higher mark and, after reappearing with a Ripon victory, was badly impeded at Thirsk. He's no forlorn hope to stage a repeat while Dandy Nicholls also runs Beacon Lodge, the mount of Fran Berry who does well riding in the UK. Both can go well but it's SOUND HEARTS who earns the vote. Roger Varian's filly ended her only campaign to date with a fine run behind two older rivals in a Newmarket Listed event and, with further progress, likely she's well enough treated to make a winning reappearance. Two For Two went up 9lb for landing a Ripon handicap but was probably an unlucky loser at Thirsk subsequently and has to be on the short-list along with stablemate Anderiego, who returned to form with a cracking effort in that same Thirsk event. Fort Bastion is a class act with an entry in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and looked potentially Group class when easily seeing off the useful Starboard at Newmarket a year ago, though he hasn't been seen since.
SOUND OF GUNS is comfortably the pick on official ratings after her close third in Doncaster's Group 2 Flying Childers in September. She ran much better than her finishing position indicates when reappearing in the Nell Gwynn and the drop back to the minimum trip can enable her to gain her second victory. Morawij and Fire Eyes were behind her on Town Moor but David Barron won this last year so the very speedily-bred Cosmic Chatter should be kept on the right side. Polski Max had Lucky Beggar and Smoothtalkinrascal behind when scoring on soft ground at Hamilton and Richard Fahey is also represented by Mary's Daughter, who won a 6f nursery here in August.
The quartet with experience have all been placed with Musical Molly possibly the best of them following a highly promising debut at Doncaster where she managed to get squeezed for room in a six-runner race. Tanseeb will also come on for his run at Musselburgh while Exceed And Exceed may come out best of the Hannon newcomers as he's very speedily-bred and related to a host of winning sprinters. Parbold is a half-brother to three winners up to 7f so should have enough pace to make his presence felt while Charles Hills won this a year ago so Dream And Search is one to note. HUMOUR, a 100,000gns yearling, is the second foal of a winning mare who has already produced a winner so he's handed the vote in a race that should provide plenty of clues for the future.
Despite having won just once on the Flat, CAPE TRIBULATION looks well enough handicapped to double that tally. He started favourite when this was run over an extra 2f last year but disappointed though he returned with a fine run in October when touched off by Mashaari, who was receiving 8lb. Malcolm Jefferson's charge has been chasing at the highest level over the winter and this looks a good opportunity. John Quinn runs Hidden Justice, twice a winner over timber before reappearing on the Flat with a victory over 2m2f at Pontefract, and Moidore, who is best with some give in the ground. Winning bumper Chancery makes his handicap debut from a lowly mark and has been racing over trips too short so he's one to keep an eye on in the betting.