Simon Holt best bets and tips for day two at York's Dante Festival

Leading commentator Simon Holt previews the action on the Knavesmire
Leading commentator Simon Holt previews the action on the Knavesmire

Top commentator Simon Holt had a 6/1 winner on day one of the Dante meeting and he fancies a couple of horses in the handicaps on day two.

Recommended Bets: Thursday May 16

1pt win Cowboy Soldier in 1.50 York at 9/1

1pt win Mutafani in 3.35 York at 7/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


All eyes will be trained on Thursday's Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York in which last season's champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot makes his seasonal reappearance following an early-season setback.

Forced to miss the Guineas, John Gosden's unbeaten colt will need to prove he has trained on to win what looks a strong Derby trial, but not a particularly enticing betting race.

Too Darn Hot is certainly bred to stay at least a mile and a quarter (though has yet to race beyond seven furlongs) and his excellent turn of foot could easily prove too much for the others to handle in the closing stages.

However, Aidan O'Brien fields a fascinating contender in the Galileo colt Japan, a full brother to the Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture, who needed every yard of a mile when wearing down his now sidelined stable-companion Mount Everest in the Beresford Stakes at Naas last September.

Given that O'Brien has completely dominated the colts classic trials so far, it could be highly significant that this colt runs in what is often regarded as the most informative race leading up to Epsom.

The field also includes the well-backed Surfman, a Kingman half brother to the French Group One winner Kitesurf who has won his last two starts at Nottingham and Newcastle, and Telecaster, a wide-margin winner at Windsor after chasing home the subsequent Sandown Classic Trial winner Bangkok on his racecourse debut while Breeders Cup winner Line Of Duty was highly progressive before his difficult-to-assess victory at Churchill Downs in early November.

In the Matchbook Betting Podcast Hambleton Handicap, MUTAFANI may have been let in lightly by the handicapper.

Silvestre de Sousa's mount was an impressive winner of his final two starts last season, beating Drill (subsequently rated 92) and Team Decision (91) by just over two lengths at Chelmsford before slamming Agincourt (82) by four lengths at Thirsk.

Admittedly, those performances took place nearly a year ago, and Mutafani must have had some kind of setback. But he certainly looks well weighted here off a rating of 91.

Earlier, COWBOY SOLDIER can follow-up his reappearance Kempton win in the opening Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap.

I had this horse as one to follow over the winter so it was a bit galling when he overcame a wide draw to score that day at unbacked odds of 20-1 for which he has been raised 6lb in the ratings.

Forced to race three wide all the way round the home turn, it was a good performance and one that looks better now with runner-up Puds going one better at Goodwood next time.

Posted at 1720 BST on 15/05/19.

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Fifth Position is Keith Hamer's best Friday bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

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