The Dante (Thursday 3.15pm) is the most recognised of the Derby trials, and 10 winners of it have gone on to win the Derby since it was first held in 1958. Four of those have won since the turn of the Millennium, with last year’s winner Golden Horn being the latest.
Sir Michael Stoute has trained 4 post-millennium winners, with Aidan O’Brien next best with 3. Meanwhile, Ryan Moore has ridden 3 winners in that period, William Buick 2, and Frankie Dettori 1.
12 Runners are set to go to post for the 2016 Dante.
Seemingly Aidan O’Brien’s second string on jockey-bookings, but this son of Galileo is bred to relish the step-up in trip, and no surprise should he run well.
Trainer Roger Varian knows a good horse when he’s got one, and it’s interesting that he’s pitching this once-raced maiden winner into Group-2 company. He travelled beautifully on debut and, as the progeny of Sea The Stars, may relish the ground if it stays on the fast side of good.
Highly touted, but his form has taken some serious knocks with Foundation beaten since, and the horses who beat Foundation both well-beaten in the Guineas.
Highly-touted after winning his first three races, but beaten by 3-lengths or more in his last two races, and the winners did nothing to frank that form in the Guineas. Frankie Dettori also jumps ship.
Won his maiden, but only third off a mark of 90 in a handicap since. Tough ask.
Belied his massive price by finishing fifth in the 2,000 Guineas, and was staying on in a manner that suggests he’ll love this step-up in trip. Finished miles in front of Foundation’s two conquerors there, yet is five-times the price here.
The Newmarket dogs have been barking this is the Derby winner, and he’s impressed in winning his two starts so far. Wasn’t too hard pushed to win last-time at this trip, and interesting to see what he finds if put under more pressure in this better race.
This Dubawi colt should enjoy the step-up to 10-furlongs, but was 3-lengths behind Foundation last year.
Sea Of Flames
Listed all-weather winner, who has won 4 of his last 5 races, but doesn’t have a typically lightly-raced profile of a Dante winner.
Last of 7 in the Epsom Derby Trial, and hard to see why he should fare much better here.
Didn’t finish far behind the horse that gave Midterm a race on his debut, and easily won a maiden afterwards when making all. Improvement to come, and no surprise if he runs well.
Wings Of Desire
Frankie Dettori choice, and that suggests he’s expected to improve past Foundation. However, he’s surely not as good as last year’s winner Golden Horn, and he might have to be if Midterm is as good as everyone seems to think.
Midterm is expected to win the Dante before going on to win the Derby, and Sir Michael Stoute certainly knows how to win this race. If you’d rather play each-way, then Choreographer could go well at a price.