Dante Stakes Tips, Betting Offers and Odds

The centrepiece of York’s three day May meeting is the Dante Stakes. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers available for this prestigious event and provide our betting tips for the race.

First run here at York in 1958, this 1m2f 88y contest for three year olds is now a Group 2 affair with around £160,000 in total prize money up for grabs. It attracts some really classy horses and this year is no exception.

Dante Stakes Tips and Betting Offers, 3:00 at York, 16 May 2019

The Dante Stakes is both a very well regarded race in its own right and one of the most important trials for the Epsom Derby. The Group 2 contest for three-year-olds is run over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 56 yards at York Racecourse and consistently produces leading contenders for the Derby including five winners since the turn of the century.

Trip the Concern for the Market Leader

The most powerful yards in flat racing all aim for success in the Classics. The prizes on offer in the most prestigious races of all make the investments of time, effort and money all worth it whilst they can also boost the stud fees demanded once a horse’s racing career is over.

It was a great shame, then, for connections of Too Darn Hot that he was unable to run in the 2000 Guineas. He was the long time favourite for the first Classic of the season but was not fit enough to compete. Top class colts will always have another chance so Too Darn Hot’s trainer, John Gosden, and owner, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, have turned their attentions to the Derby.

Too Darn Hot is the favourite for the Dante Stakes as he makes his first appearance of the season. Although some have compared his with Frankel, this really does look a big task first time up, especially as there are real questions over whether he will be able to stay the trip at York, let alone the 1 mile 4 furlong of the Derby.

O’Brien to Head to the Derby on a High

Aidan O’Brien earned yet another career landmark at Newmarket when Magna Grecia made it 10 winners for him in the 2000 Guineas. That is a remarkable achievement but it’s still relatively early in the season and O’Brien is targeting more wins in the biggest races. Japan is one of O’Brien’s best options for the Derby and racing fans will learn a lot more about him at York on Thursday.

Like Too Darn Hot, Japan is making his seasonal reappearance in the Dante Stakes. That’s a big ask but his win in the 1 mile Beresford Stakes at the end of last season really got the Ballydoyle yard excites about his prospects of staying the Derby trip. Japan’s breeding certainly suggests that he is very well suited for the Derby and he can head to Epsom on the back of a big win in the Dante Stakes for which he is available at 4/1 with Coral.

Betting Predictions

Japan looks the value bet from the head of the market but it may be worth looking right towards the bottom of the betting for an each way bet. Turgenev’s performance in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom in April suggested to some that 10 furlongs is his maximum distance but concerns about his stamina may have caused some to miss what was a fairly significant improvement from his first performance of the season just 12 days earlier.

John Gosden’s colt lacks the class of many of his opponents on Thursday but Group level wins are not out of the question over the next couple of years and, crucially, his two wins will give him an edge in terms of sharpness so a speculative each way bet on Turgenev at 33/1 with Paddy Power could just return nicely.

Previous Race Winners

  • 2018 – Roaring Lion – jockey Oisin Murphy, trainer John Gosden
  • 2017 – Permian – jockey Frany Norton, trainer Mark Johnston
  • 2016 – Wings Of Desire – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
  • 2015 – Golden Horn – jockey William Buick, trainer John Gosden
  • 2014 – The Grey Gatsby – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Kevin Ryan
  • 2013 – Libertarian – jockey William Buick, trainer Elaine Burke
  • 2012 – Bonfire – jockey Jimmy Fortune, trainer Andrew Balding
  • 2011 – Carlton House – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
  • 2010 – Cape Blanco – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2009 – Black Bear Island – jockey Colm O’Donoghue, trainer Aidan O’Brien
  • 2008 – Tartan Bearer – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
  • 2007 – Authorized – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam
  • 2006 – Septimus – jockey Kieren Fallon trainer Aidan O’Brien

Dante Stakes History

As one of the key trials for the Epsom Derby, it is appropriate that the race lends its name from a great Derby winner of yesteryear. Trained in Yorkshire, Dante took the 1945 Derby, which was run at Newmarket due to complications caused by the Second World War. Staggeringly as of 2015, no northern trained horse has won the Derby since. The unfortunate Dante never raced again after his Derby success, suffering numerous ailments and eventually going completely blind. He did however enjoy a successful career at stud and his legacy of course lives on with this brilliant race.

Many view this contest as having the most significance of any race in the build up to the Epsom showpiece in June. St Paddy became the first horse to follow up success here with a Derby triumph in 1960, when steered home by the peerless Lester Piggott. John Gosden’s Golden Horn became the 10th to do the double in 2015 and also won the Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe the same year. Many smart performers have taken this over the years with some of the most significant being:

1972 winner Rheingold, who became the first Dante winner to win the Prix de l,Arc de Triomphe, landing the Longchamp showpiece in 1973.

1986 winner Shahrastani also followed up in the Derby. That the Aga Khan’s colt won at Epsom will always however be overshadowed by the fact that all-time great Dancing Brave somehow didn’t. Greville Starkey was hauled over the coals for his tactics in the race and only rode Dancing Brave once more.

Moon Ballad took this for Godolphin in 2002, and whilst he failed to make his mark in the British Classics, he did go on to take the richest race in the world when landing the 2003 Dubai World Cup. Earning over £2million for two minutes work in the process.

In terms of the best ever winner of the race it may well be 2015 winner Golden Horn. As stated above, John Gosden’s superstar also took the Derby, Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in his three year old campaign.

Pat Eddery dominated this race in the 1980s and early 1990s. His six wins between 1981 and 1993 put him comfortably clear in the list of most successful jockeys in this race.

Of Sir Henry Cecil’s seven Dante winners, only 1987 victor Reference Point followed up by landing the big one at Epsom. The brilliant son of Mill Reef didn’t stop their either as he also landed the King George and St.Leger in a stellar three year old season. Sir Henry’s win total puts him at the top of the list of trainers here.

Take a look at our Yorkshire Cup tips too!