Simon Holt best bets for day two of the Dante Festival at York

Mori - can take her revenge at York
Mori - can take her revenge at York

Simon Holt thinks Well Farhh Go can make it three wins from three career starts in Thursday's Betfred Dante Stakes.

Recommended bets: York, Thursday

2pts win Wells Farhh Go 3.30 York at 7/1

1pt win Mori 2.55 York at 7/2

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


Thursday's Group Two Betfred Dante Stakes has a reputation as the strongest of the Derby trials having been won by subsequent Epsom winners Erhaab, Benny The Dip, North Light, Motivator, Authorized and Golden Horn in the past 25 years.

So this is probably the last chance for any colt to seriously threaten Saxon Warrior's position as clear favourite for the Classic in just over two weeks time.

Of the nine runners, the one who could have the most potential is WELLS FARHH GO who was unbeaten in two starts last season, both of them over seven furlongs on this course.

Impressive when beating the useful Laugh A Minute on his debut here last July, Tim Easterby's colt then successfully made the step up to Group Three company when narrowly out-staying James Garfield (the pair clear) in the Acomb Stakes at the Ebor meeting in August.

The runner-up went on to win Newbury's Mill Reef and, this season, the Greenham Stakes before finishing a fair seventh to Saxon Warrior, two places behind likely Dante favourite Roaring Lion, in the 2000 Guineas over a mile.

On an earlier start last season, James Garfield was only a head behind Mildenberger, another leading contender here, when fourth to Expert Eye at Goodwood.

So, with the possibility of further improvement on only his third racecourse appearance plus the fact that, on breeding (out of a Galileo mare) he will be well suited by this trip, the cheaply bought (at just 16,000 Guineas) Wells Farhh Go could have plenty going for him.

The big question surrounding Roaring Lion is whether he will stay.

Roaring Lion
Roaring Lion - is he going to stay the Dante trip?

John Gosden's colt, chinned late on by Saxon Warrior in last season's Racing Post Trophy, ran much better in the Guineas compared to a lacklustre reappearance behind Masar and the re-opposing White Mocha in the Craven Stakes but now has an extra two-and-a-half furlongs to cover.

Roaring Lion's American pedigree suggests he can stay nine furlongs with ten less likely and, at Newmarket, he was only keeping on at the same pace in the closing stages. A smart colt, his class could see him through but the likely odds are uninviting.

Others are much more certain to stay including Gosden's Epsom Trial winner Crossed Baton who got a lovely front-running ride from Frankie Dettori last month to beat My Lord And Master and Dee Ex Bee (both second at Chester last week) with the Aidan O'Brien-trained James Cook, a full brother to Arc heroine Found, a fair fourth and Zabriskie sixth.

One suspects that Crossed Baton will need to improve again having enjoyed the run of that race while there is almost certainly more to come from James Cook who appears the main Ballydoyle contender here under Ryan Moore compared to the Seamie Heffernan-ridden Zabriskie.

Another solid galloper is Mildenberger, closely matched with the selection, who battled on gamely to win the Feilden Stakes over nine furlongs on his reappearance (third-placed Kew Gardens ran second in Lingfield's Derby trial last Saturday). Mark Johnston's colt, whose dam stayed well, doesn't know how to run a bad race and, if lacking a bit of obvious pace, should be thereabouts.

Of the remainder, Godolphin's unbeaten Nordic Lights is hard to assess on victories at Lingfield and Newmarket but is clearly well regarded while impressive Esher Cup winner Merlin Magic and the aforementioned White Mocha are open to plenty of improvement albeit facing their toughest tasks to date.

Earlier, a chance is taken on MORI returning to her best form in the Group Two Betfred Middleton Stakes.

Sir Michael Stoute's beautifully-bred filly (by Frankel out of multiple Group One winner Midday) hit the buffers in her last two starts in 2017 and has since had a wind operation but, on her earlier efforts highlighted by a narrow defeat by the re-opposing Coronet in the Ribblesdale Stakes (1m4f) at Royal Ascot, she is a smart performer.

Over this shorter distance (her previous two victories had come at ten furlongs) Mori may get her revenge as, while Coronet is certainly the form horse having later chased home Enable here in the Yorkshire Oaks before finishing third to Hydrangea at Ascot on Champions Day (fifth in the St Leger in-between), she would definitely be better suited by further especially on this flat course.

One possible threat to all is previous course and distance winner Chain Of Daisies who rescued a slightly disappointing campaign last year when making all in the Listed Pride Stakes at Newmarket in October. Henry Candy's mare would be dangerous if allowed a soft lead by her rivals.

Posted at 1615 BST 16/05/18.

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