BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS THE FIRST DAY OF YORK’S DANTE MEETING
YORK’S DANTE meeting is one of the highlights of the early part of the season and tomorrow’s big race looks like an absolute cracker with all the key protagonists standing their ground.
However, there are plenty of betting opportunities today and the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes (3.15pm) is the highlight with 15 runners set to go to post.
Betway – who are offering money back if you are second, beaten less than a length in all races at York this week – currently have four 5/1 co-favourites which underlines how competitive it is.
Of those at the head of the market, I’m most interested in Marco Botti’s NAADIRR and he is the one to back.
The son of Oasis Dream was a hugely impressive winner of the Betway Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster back in March where he flew at the finish to beat Astaire, one of today’s rivals who went on to take the Group Three Abernant Stakes at Newmarket last time.
I was initially worried about the ground for my selection, as he doesn’t handle soft, but York dries quickly and I’m sure it will be no worse than good by the time this race is off.
Naadirr is a fast improving sprinter, has a fitness edge on a number of his rivals, and is a course and distance winner.
Astaire is respected, as he finished second in this race 12 months ago, but Naadirr should have his measure, while both Muthmir and Lightning Moon are having their first starts of the season.
Muthmir was too keen on his seasonal debut last June, while Lightning Moon, making his debut for Godolphin, would prefer a softer surface.
Lucky Kristale has place claims at 12/1 with Betway. She was running over the wrong trip last term, but had some excellent form as a two-year-old when she won the Cherry Hinton and Lowther Stakes. She also ran really well behind Astaire at Newmarket last month.
There have been a few shocks in this race over the years and another who could go well at a monster price is Gathering Power. Eddie Lynam is a master with sprinters and this five-year-old should relish the better ground.
Whether he’s good enough is another question, but the generally available 33/1 looks a bit big.
The opening 10-furlong handicap (2.10pm) features a couple of hugely unexposed four-year-olds in Mahsoob and Field Of Fame. They’ve both only had two career starts, so it’s extremely likely that they are well ahead of their marks.
However, they obviously lack experience and I’m going to take a chance on William Haggas’ SATELLITE with Ryan Moore booked.
The gelded son of Danehill Dancer won on his debut at Ripon last season and then ran an extraordinary race to be fourth behind Cannock Chase and Windshear in the London Gold Cup after running with the choke out the whole way.
He was a little disappointing after that but is the type to progress as a four-year-old and he looks a fair each-way bet at 8/1.
SATELLITE e/w 2.10pm York
NAADIRR 3.15pm York