2021 Dante Stakes Runner-By-Runner Preview

Dante Stakes Preview. Gear Up looks a big player for Mark Johnston.Dante Stakes Preview. Gear Up looks a big player for Mark Johnston.

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes Runner-By-Runner Preview

The Dante Stakes is one of the most prestigious races contested at York each year, and the race serves as a key trial for next month’s Epsom Derby. We have produced our own in-depth runner-by-runner preview of the Dante, which features the likes of High Definition, Gear Up and Hurricane Lane. Read our thoughts on all eleven horse’s chances below, which includes a big race verdict and predicted race 1-2-3.

  1. Alenquer (T: William Haggas, J: Tom Marquand)

Newbury maiden winner who stepped up on that form when chasing home Fancy Man in the Listed Ascendant Stakes at Haydock in September. Surprise 25/1 winner of the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown latest, yet that form has received knocks since. More required.

  1. Belloccio (T: David Menuisier, J: David Egan)

Stepped forward on a Salisbury novice win when landing a French Listed race in November. Sent off just 12/1 for the Sandown Classic Trial but could only muster fifth – eight and a half lengths behind Alenquer. Will appreciate conditions but needs significantly more. Opposed.

  1. Flying Visit (T: Jim Bolger, J: Kevin Manning)

Heavily raced juvenile but seldom ran a bad one. Gelded prior to making his seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown in April where he chased home current Derby fav Bolshoi Ballet. Respected on that form for all that he does look a shade exposed. Place claims.

  1. Gear Up (T: Mark Johnston, J: Ben Curtis)

Stayed on resolutely to win the Gimcrack here last August. Held in Group 2 company afterwards but left that form behind when landing a French Group 1 when last seen in October. Strong stayer and this likely to have been the long-term plan. Seriously respected.

  1. High Definition (T: Aidan O’Brien, J: Ryan Moore)

Classy juvenile (2-2) who stayed on from no man’s land to take the Group 2 Beresford Stakes when last seen back in September. Held Derby favouritism over the winter and bred to come into his own now stepping up in trip. The one to beat on ratings. Enters calculations.

  1. Hurricane Lane (T: Charlie Appleby, J: William Buick)

Won sole start at two and returned to action with a game success in a Newbury conditions race last month. That form has worked out well since and he will have absolutely no issues should this turn into a dour stamina test (dam 2m winner). Shortlisted.

  1. Megallan (T: John & Thady Gosden, J: Martin Harley)

Just the one win from five starts at two and that came on debut – twice coming up short at Group level. In good form in Listed company on the all-weather of late, justifying prohibitive odds at Newcastle latest. Should stay this far but back up in grade today. Likely vulnerable.

  1. Pythagoras (T: Richard Fahey, J: Paul Hanagan)

Progressive juvenile winning three of his four starts, taking a Pontefract Listed contest on his final start at two. Not disgraced back in that company when fourth at Epsom last month, yet there is no obvious reason why he will reverse form with Uncle Bryn here. Passed over.

  1. Roman Empire (T: Aidan O’Brien, J: Hollie Doyle)

Off the mark at the second attempt as a juvenile, landing a Gowran maiden back in October. Failed to beat a rival home when favourite back at that venue last month, however, and this is an exponentially tougher assignment. Connections the only possible positive. No chance.

  1. Royal Champion (T: Roger Varian, J: Andrea Atzeni)

Well-bred colt related to the top-class Dubawi. Ran out a cosy winner of a Newmarket maiden on debut yet failed to better that form when a beaten favourite for a Listed race back at that venue last month. Capable of better but certainly needs it to feature.

  1. Uncle Bryn (T: John & Thady Gosden, J: Frankie Dettori)

Looked a potentially very smart prospect when taking back-to-back races on the all-weather last year. Sent off a short-priced favourite for the Derby trial at Epsom latest but could only muster third there and that form has received knocks since. Dettori keeps the faith mind.

Big Race Verdict

The presence of long-term Derby fav High Definition provides a fascinating caveat to what promises to be a fascinating renewal of the Dante Stakes. Aidan O’Brien’s colt looks a sure-fire improver stepping up to this distance and holds the highest rating of all eleven rivals yet may just bump into one here first time out in the exciting GEAR UP. Mark Johnston’s colt was a French Group 1 winner when last seen and that form has received more than one boost since (Derby fav Bolshoi Ballet in behind). He took the Gimcrack here last season and can put that course knowledge to good use by landing the spoils this afternoon. Flying Visit is no forlorn hope for each-way backers yet should find the less exposed duo too strong.

  1. GEAR UP
  2. High Definition
  3. Flying Visit