Dante Preview 2019

By Samantha

As one of the final trial races in preparation for the most coveted Classic of them all – The Derby, the 2019 Dante Stakes, which is a group two over one mile two furlongs ran on the famous York Knavesmire, will hopefully offer some clues and, it is hoped that one of the British challengers will thrust themselves into the forefront of the Irish dominated betting market. In recent years, this has been won by multiple group one winner Roaring Lion, the ill-fated but incredible Permian, Derby winner Golden Horn, The Grey Gatsby, Authorized and Motivator.

There are quite a few horses with lofty reputations in this and none more so than Too Darn Hot. He is currently the most fancied British contender for the Epsom Derby. Evens or shorter on all of his starts, he has won all four of his races by a combined fifteen lengths and he has some of the top two year old form of all the contenders as he crossed the line first in the Champagne Stakes and the Dewhurst. The third of the latter contest, Anthony Van Dyck, has subsequently come out and won the Lingfield Derby Trial. Higher rated than all of these, he is out of Dar Re Mi who is a very good broodmare and also a multiple group one winner. His sister Lah Ti Dar stays one mile four and runs earlier in the card. He is sure to stay and a leading player.

His trainer John Gosden also has Turgnev. He won his second and third starts but struggled when chucked into group one company in the Vertem Futurity, which has worked out incredibly well. He was then well beaten in a class three over this trip and finished third in a listed race last time at Epsom. He isn’t high on my shortlist.

Aidan O’Brien is the dominant force in flat racing of late and he has won the majority of the Derby Trials both sides of the Irish Sea. He has Japan in this. Seventh on debut, he then won quite well on heavy going next time. He ran at Naas in September in the Beresford over a mile by a short head. He’s been talked about as a potential Derby winner and one of Aidan’s biggest chances which means that he has to be very very good. He’s a full brother to a 117 peak rated horse called Sir Isaac Newton, who won a group three over this trip, and his dam stayed further so he is thoroughly bred for this.

Line Of Duty will surely be popular as this Godolphin colt shares his name with the popular TV show. He is a very interesting horse and was second on his first two races behind nice horses and then he won a maiden. He won a group three at Chantilly really smartly and was sent over to America where he ran in the Breeders Cup Juvenile over a mile and won well. His dam never raced past a mile but she placed in a group one and his full sister won over one mile two so there could be some stamina in there.

The well-named Surfman, being by Kingman and out of Shimmering Surf, wasn’t beaten far on debut and then won two class five races on his most recent starts. There has been lots of money around for him in the Epsom Derby and the yard is in excellent form, winning the Musidora yesterday. 7/1 looks a good price with all this support.

There was a lot of talk about Telecaster after his procession at Windsor on his second start. That was this trip and the horse he came second to on debut won a group three last time. His half brother won the final race on the opening day of this meeting and he stays one mile four so the stamina is obviously in Telecaster’s pedigree, especially as his dam was second in the Oaks. Very unexposed and could literally be anything.

Almania is by Australia out of a seven furlong group three winner and the horse himself is yet to run over a trip past seven furlongs. Australia’s offspring run well over this trip so there is stamima on the sire’s side.

Nayef Road is three from seven and won over this trip last time by five lengths at Newmarket in a Handicap. This son of Galileo is the pace in the race but I can’t see him being there at the finish. Saying that, his stablemate didn’t run to badly in the Musidora. You pretty much know what you’re dealing with when looking at this colt as he’s so exposed compared to the rest.


I actually prefer the British horses in comparison to the Irish horse Japan in this. I think today could be TOO DARN HOT’s day as he’s extremely speedy and will probably have more speed than Japan over this trip. I’d maybe pick differently if this was the Derby as I’m not convinced that Too Darn Hot is a Derby horse. The fact he missed the 2000 Guineas is a slight worry. It was hard not to be impressed with Surfman last time and the money for him is encouraging but this is a huge step up in grade. Telecaster is a nice big horse and well related for a Derby and was an electric winner over this trip last time. The two latter mentioned horses could be anything.


R1 – Copper Knight
R2 – Lah Ti Dar

R3 – Too Darn Hot
R4 – Hertzadar
R5 – Soldiers Call
R6 – Hong Kong
R7 – October Storm

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