Horse Racing – 2022 Dante Meeting – Thursday 12th May Tips and Betting Preview

The second day of the Dante Festival at York is the headline day of the meeting when the Dante itself is run as we continue to pick up clues as to potential Derby contenders and those who might be prominent when Royal Ascot comes along.

We’ve had a good look at the big race but it doesn’t appeal from a betting point of view, however there is one race on the card which does offer up a bet and that comes in the race immediately prior to the Dante.

3.00 York


It’s Dante day but from a betting perspective, it’s not the best race or day’s racing to get stuck into with just the one race catching the eye.  That’s the one mile Hambleton handicap where we have a field of 15 going to post, headed in the market by the 4 year old Isla Kai.  He was progressive as a 3 year old, winning his first 3 handicaps starting off with a mark of 78.  Those wins coupled with a 2nd on his last run of last term saw his mark shoot up to 99 & then a really good reappearance when a length 4th behind Modern News in the Spring Cup saw another small rise, this time to a mark of 100.  His claims are solid but he does need to go from the front & I think there are others that will try to grab the lead too so I’m a little wary.  The recent Thirsk Hunt Cup is an interesting contest to look back on with winner Redarna in this along with 5th Lion Tower, 7th Cruyff Turn, 8th Snash & 10th Trais Fluors.  It says something when the shortest price runner of those 5 is the one who finished 10th but that supports my thought that perhaps this isn’t the most reliable form with the first 10 home separated by just 3 lengths, including a few hard luck stories.  Brunch ran well last time in a Group 3 but has top weight, Lightning Company won last time out but may need softer ground whilst Hortzadar also won on his most recent start but that was at his favourite track, Ripon where he has a record of 3 wins from 4 starts.

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Whilst this is a competitive heat on paper, I’m not sure how many bring truly sound credentials to the table so I’m going to side with a horse that likes York but hasn’t been in the greatest of form, and that’s the Keith Dalgleish trained 8 year old What’s The Story.  He won this race in 2019 off a mark of 96 and then ran well in it again 12 months ago when a very respectable 5th off a monster mark of 106 and in a race where he didn’t ever really get the clearest of runs.    It’s fair to say his form has tailed off somewhat since but I’m not sure he’s ever had his conditions.  He finished down the field in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot, a course he’s never really taken to, before again running below par at this track in the John Smith’s Cup over an extra 2 furlongs.  Whilst he’s capable at the trip, he never really settled and pulled quite hard, needing a faster pace.  A third consecutive no show came on reappearance in the Lincoln although he did run well for a long way but I feel a straight track isn’t ideal for him whilst the cut in the ground was definitely against him.  He improved when 4th of 8 in a handicap on the all weather at Kempton but it’s worth saying that despite him showing good past form on an artificial surface, it’s mainly been on the Tapeta rather than Polytrack.  All that has resulted in him coming down to a mark of just 97 which is his lowest since winning this race 3 years ago.   I’m sure he retains all his old ability as he’s achieved a RPR equal to or greater than his current mark on 12 of his last 15 runs, the 3 misses being on a straight track which he really isn’t a fan of.  Back at one of his favourite tracks, off a very lenient mark, with the quicker ground conditions & in a race sure to be run at a decent clip, I expect him to be going very close today.


Back What’s The Story (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 7.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

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