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2019 Dante Festival day one tips - Three horses to back with bet365 at York

Jonathan Vine 14 May 2019
First Eleven (left) comes up just short of Baghdad (centre) at Royal Ascot.

Our expert takes a look through all of the televised races on day one of the Dante Festival and picks out three horses to back with bet365 on Wednesday 15th May.

York racecourse will welcome a capacity crowd through their gates to enjoy the first day of their famous Dante meeting tomorrow afternoon. Two Grouped races will headline Wednesday’s action on the Knavesmire, with many contender in this year’s Musidora Stakes hoping to earn a spot in the Oaks field at Epsom at the end of the month.

Before we reach that Group Three, however, there are two competitive handicaps and the Group Two Clipper to take in. Here are three horses who our expert feels can claim big victories at York tomorrow and a special offer to take advantage of with bet365.

Sign up with bet365 today and when you back a winner at odds of 4/1 or more, you’ll receive a matched stake free bet up to £50 to use in that day’s feature race, which tomorrow will be the Clipper!

1:50pm York Jorvik Handicap (Class Two) 1m4f



Andrea Atzeni and Roger Varian have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with once again this season and Fujaira Prince is a progressive middle-distance horse to be feared. Crystal King and Corgi lead the charge against the market leader. My preference, however, is for FIRST ELEVEN, who came up short in Grouped races last season but could be well treated off 104 on his first start of the new campaign.

Twice last season, John Cosden’s colt was comfortably beaten in Group Threes, finishing fifth as the favourite in the Bahrain Trophy, before fading to finish third in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes where, again, he carried the tag of favouritism into the stalls.

Inbetween those failures, however, there were two strong performances down in handicap company. Frankie Dettori’s mount came up just a neck short of Baghdad in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascoy, before going two better at the same venue in September, carrying 9-6 to an excellent victory over Ghostwatch in the Lavazza Heritage Handicap.

First Eleven was a convincing winner off 97 that day and, although he finished rather tamely behind Laaraib in the Cumberland Lodge, I think the soft ground could be to blame for that poor performance. We don’t yet know whether the handicapper has a good grasp on First Eleven and any moisture the sun manages to draw out of the Knavesmire turf will bolster this son of Frankel’s prospects.

2:25pm Ifinity Tyres Handicap (Class 2) 6f



As we know, these large field sprint handicaps are always wide open affairs, with most bookies going 9/1 the field at the moment. Aljady is of interest on his reappearance and Reputation can build on a recent impressive victory. It would be wonderful, however, to see Geoffrey Harker claim victory around his local track and WENTWORTH FALLS is certainly not without an each-way shout.

Harker’s seven-year-old was handed a career-high mark of 96 after two victories during the springof 2017. Wentworth Falls didn’t manage to claim victory at all last season, but he suffered narrow defeats to Aljady, Summerghand and A Momentofmadness during the summer, carrying heavy weight burdens on all three occasions.

After a rare poor performance on his reappearance, Wentworth Falls almost broke his losing streak at Doncaster last time out, coming up just a next short of Sir Maximillion in a hot Class Two handicap. This race has obviously been the plan since then and Wentworth Falls has shown on a number of occasions that he’s capable of winning off his current mark of 95. Hopefully, he gets a bit of luck this time around.

Yafta (second left, blue and white), is pipped to the post by Keystroke (right) in the Abernant Stakes.


If either First Eleven or Wentworth Falls were to claim victory on Wednesday, then bet365 would give you a matched-stake free bet to use in the Clipper. Jon’s taken a look at Thursday’s feature and highlighted a horse to back!

3:00pm York Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2) 6f



I picked out Invincible Army as my NAP of the meeting ahead of Royal Ascot last year and was dismayed to see James Tate’s sprinter run so poorly in the Commonwealth Cup. After three straight defeats, Invincible Army showed his true colours when beating Major Jumbo to a Listed prize on his reappearance. You can see why the bookies have made him favourite after that two-length triumph, but I still feel Invincible Army has something to prove at this level.

Brando remains a highly capable sprinter at the highest level and shaped like he would improve for the run when finishing third in the Abernant Stakes. Ahead of his that day was my selections YAFTA, who was denied on the line by 50/1 outsider Keystroke, and I’m going to go in on Richard Hannon’s charge once again.

After performaning admirably under heavy weight-burdens in high-quality handicaps last season, Hannon moved Yafta up into Grouped company for the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle. Yafta had to settle for second that day, but followed that encouraging display with a hard-fought victory over Projection in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes.

Being drawn in stall one may look like a disadvantage. Yet, having fast starters like Ornate and El Astronaute on his immediate inside should give Yafta an ideal toe into the race and he should be perfectly positioned to strike entering the final furlong.

Significant Terms and Conditions

  • This offer is only available to new and eligible customers. 
  • This offer applies to the FIRST single bet placed by a customer on each bet365 Feature Race.
  • This offer will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, any refund amount or subsequent risk free bet amount will be equal to the remaining active stake.
  • If a qualifying bet is edited using our Edit Bet feature, any refund amount will be equal to the new stake and not the original stake. Where a risk free bet is changed using Edit Bet, no refund will be given and the offer will no longer apply.
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  • Offer applies to bets placed on Win and Each Way Fixed Odds markets and Enhanced Place Terms markets only. All other markets, including adjusted place terms (Each Way Extra), Ante-Post bets and Tote/Pari-Mutuel (bets and dividends), are excluded from this offer. 
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2019 Dante Festival day one tips - Three horses to back with bet365 at York

Our expert takes a look through all of the televised races on day one of the Dante Festival and picks out three horses to back with bet365 on Wednesday 15th May

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