Our tipster looks ahead to the action
Our tipster looks ahead to the action

Ben Linfoot free horse racing tips for ITV racing at York's Dante Festival day two

Our form expert has four selections for day two of York's Dante Festival and he thinks Sir Michael Stoute can be celebrating on Dante day again.

The Verdict: Thursday, May 16

1pt win Spartan Arrow in 2.15 York at 8/1 (General)

1pt win Mirsky in 2.45 York at 12/1 (General)

1pt win Cruyff Turn in 2.45 York at 20/1 (General)

1pt win Infinite Cosmos in 3.15 York at 7/1 (bet365)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Infinite love for Cosmos in Middleton

Five winners and one runner-up from the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes have gone on to win the Derby at Epsom this century and this key trial could be the piece of form to concentrate on once again when June 1 comes around.

Charlie Appleby’s Ancient Wisdom appears the obvious one to thrive at York and possibly Epsom, too, given he’s a Group 1 winner whose juvenile form has been working out well all spring.

He did become the forgotten horse in the Derby market as we rolled into trials season and was available at 14/1 for Epsom as recently as Saturday morning, but he’s into a best of 7/1 now and his strength in the Dante market is telling.

This race can be for Derby horses who have been slower to come to hand, but maybe Appleby has just been saving the best for last and if that’s the case he’s going to be tough to beat as he’s the clear form pick.

I’m happy to watch the race without financial interest but I do want to take on Free Wind in the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at 3.15, as she got away with the trip in this race last year in what was an average renewal.

She needs further ideally and she was hit and miss last season, too, while second-favourite Bluestocking has a touch of seconditis.

With that in mind, it was great to see Sir Michael Stoute get his season going with a couple of his big guns at Chester last week, Never So Brave and Passenger both so impressive, and INFINITE COSMOS can be the one to sink the market leaders in the Middleton.

This daughter of Sea The Stars has looked a long-term Stoute project from a long way out, as you might guess given this is just her fifth career start in her third season in training.

She was sent off 15/8 favourite for the Musidora at this meeting last year and ran well in third, but then wasn’t seen until Yarmouth in September where she again shaped well behind the race-fit Sapphire Seas, who reopposes here, having to wait for room before making her challenge.

Given time and patience, it would be no surprise to see her post a career-best, as she goes well fresh and is from a late-maturing family Stoute has worked wonders with over the years, her relatives including Crystal Ocean, Crystal Capella and Hillstar.

The Verdict: Back INFINITE COSMOS in 3.15 York


Take two in the Hambleton

As always at this meeting there are some cracking handicaps on the undercard and the Oakmere Homes Hambleton Handicap over a mile certainly slides into that category.

Position will be important in this race and I reckon likely front-runner Point Lynas can provide a nice tow into the contest for those drawn low around him from stall five.

The one that makes plenty of appeal is David O’Meara’s MIRSKY, from stall two, a French import who caught the eye with a very good first British run in the Thirsk Hunt Cup, where he finished well for a close-up fifth after being switched out with a quarter of a mile to go.

Left alone on a rating of 98, he could be on a fair mark and from his inside draw I wonder if David Nolan will ride him more prominently given he was ridden forward in France on several occasions.

His French form looks good in this context, as he finished up close behind Group 1 winner Facteur Cheval in a Listed race at Chantilly, while his Deauville win last July was boosted with next time out wins from three of his four beaten rivals that have run subsequently.

O’Meara usually does really well with the horses he gets from France and the Thirsk Hunt Cup has been a launchpad for a Hambleton winner before.

Talking of which, CRUYFF TURN, the horse who won the Hambleton via Thirsk, is too well handicapped off 88 to ignore at 20/1.

Another one drawn low in three, he is expected to track the pace and his uninspiring Thirsk 12th this season is forgiven as he always seems to need a run.

He’s won four handicaps off higher marks than 88, including twice at York; this race off 97 and the Clipper Logistics off 95, and he’ll love the good ground.

The Verdict: Back MIRSKY & CRUYFF TURN in the 2.45 York


Arrow to fire in York opener

Finally, Simon & Ed Crisford can hit the target with SPARTAN ARROW in the Lindum York Handicap over five furlongs in the opening race on the card.

The Crisfords have a fantastic record at York and, while this horse fluffed his lines as 4/1 favourite in the three-year-old five-furlong sprint at this meeting last year, it’s no wonder they’ve identified another speed track for him.

This horse has got gears, as he showed when burning away from a good field at Goodwood last June, his last start, and that form that worked out well, with the second and third both winning their very next starts.

Spartan Arrow clearly had his issues seeing as he hasn’t been seen since, but he’s been gelded and went very well when fresh last season, so first time out could well be the time to catch him with his yard in good form.

The Verdict: Back SPARTAN ARROW in the 2.15 York

Preview posted at 1550 BST on 15/05/24

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