• Racing/
  • Story Edges Closer To Dante Run

Betfred Dante Stakes (Group 2) 1m 2f 88y

  • (3yo, 1m 2f 88y, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner £85,065 2nd £32,250 3rd £16,140 4th £8,040 5th £4,035 6th £2,025
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 2m 8.99s
  • Off time: 14:47:06
Full result
Result 14:45 York
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 5 The Grey Gatsby 9/1
2nd 1 Arod ¾ 8/1
  • Last Updated: May 14 2014, 19:57 BST

View from connections ahead of Thursday's Betfred Dante Stakes at York.

True Story: Likely to run in the Dante at York.
True Story: Likely to run in the Dante at York.

True Story appears increasingly likely to test his Derby credentials in Thursday's Betfred Dante Stakes at York.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor raised doubts about the colt's participation earlier this week after the Yorkshire track was hit by significant rainfall.

But with conditions now improving, the runaway Feilden Stakes winner looks set to line up as a long odds-on favourite.

Kieren Fallon will partner True Story for the first time in this recognised Derby trial, with a view to keeping the ride at Epsom on June 7.

Bin Suroor said: "We will see what the ground is like, but, so far, the weather looks like it is going to be dry and if the ground is good to soft, we will let him run.

"We will see how things go, but the horse is doing good.

"He's in good form and his condition is good, so we are looking forward to running him.

"He won very well at Newmarket and now he is ready to step up from a Listed race to a Group Two.

"Kieren has ridden him a lot (on the gallops) and knows him well.

"We are hoping for a good run from him and we will decide about the Derby after (the Dante)."

The Richard Hannon-trained Bunker was last seen beating subsequent French 2000 Guineas winner Karakontie in a Deauville Listed race last August and steps up in trip on his return.

Jockey Frankie Dettori said: "I sat on Bunker (on Monday morning) and he seems in good shape.

"His form is rock-solid and we have always liked him.

"The form was franked at Longchamp.

"He is in at the deep end in the Dante, the best Derby trial, but we will see where we are in the pecking order.

"True Story seems a good horse but we are very pleased with ours. He is a Hurricane Run and he should like the ground."

Hannon said: "We need to know whether the (Derby) dream could possibly become reality, and taking on the Feilden winner should give us an idea where we stand.

"Bunker's form received a timely boost at Longchamp on Sunday when Karakontie won the French 2000 Guineas. He had already won the Prix Jean Luc Lagardere so is obviously a very decent colt.

"Our fellow made enormous physical improvement through the winter and Frankie has been down to ride him and has been pleased with the feel he got.

"The weather forecast suggests that the ground will dry out, but they have had 26.5mm of rain since Sunday, so it should still ride on the soft side, and, being by Hurricane Run, that won't be a problem for Bunker, who should also appreciate the step up in trip.

"We supplemented Bunker for Epsom for £8,000, and if we get beat at York we probably know that we haven't got a Derby horse, but until he shows us that he isn't we will treat him like one.

"Sheikh Joaan (Al Thani, part-owner) and all the team are looking forward to finding out at York," the Wiltshire handler told his website, www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.

Peter Chapple-Hyam knows what it takes to win the Derby, having saddled two previous Epsom heroes in Dr Devious (1992) and Authorized (2007).

Authorized claimed the Dante along the way and this year the trainer saddles a fascinating contender in Arod, who takes a big step up in class after blowing his rivals away in a Windsor maiden last month.

Chapple-Hyam: "Arod is in good form. The Dante is going to be a tough race for a horse who has just won a maiden, but we will obviously know a lot more afterwards.

"He will have needed to have come on from his win at Windsor and the ground is a slight concern - it needs to dry up a bit.

"He is in at Newmarket (Listed Fairway Stakes on Saturday), but I would sooner go to York if I could.

"He is the right type of horse, but Thursday will tell us whether we keep going or take a pull."

The James Given-trained Odeon is in a similar boat, having looked the part when bolting up on his three-year-old debut at Redcar three and a half weeks ago.

Given said: "He is lightly raced, but we have always thought a lot of him and, on the back of his impressive win at Redcar, we feel he deserves to take his chance.

"He is bred to mature with age and I think he will get better as the season goes on.

"His brother, Kite Wood, improved when he went up in trip and I think Odeon will be the same."

The Grey Gatsby also steps up in trip for Kevin Ryan having failed to make an impact over a mile in the 2000 Guineas.

The field is completed by James Fanshawe's Saab Almanal, who has filled the runner-up spot on his two starts to date.