The Group 2 Dante Stakes (Thursday 15 May) is one of the most notable trials for The Derby and is also the headline race at York’s three-day Dante Meeting in May. It is run over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 56 yards and, having been established in 1858, it has been won by Derby winners like Reference Point, Benny The Dip, North Light, Motivator, Authorized, and Golden Horn.
Check out our trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tips for the 2019 Dante Stakes.
Dante Stakes 10-Year-Trends
The draw has had little effect in recent renewals, with winners being berthed as low as stall-one and as high as stall-10, though five of the last eight winners have been boxed in either stall-four or stall-six.
Seven of the last 10 winners had run at least once that season, 12 – 32 days prior to success in the race, but only half the 10 winners had won their previous race. None of the winners in the last 10-years had achieved a rating of more than 116 prior to running in the race.
Only two favourites have won in the last 10-years, with SP’s ranging from 11/4 to 33/1. John Gosden has trained three of the last four winners, whilst Aidan O’Brien trained the 2009 and 2010 winners.
Dante Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
Sir Michael Stoute is no stranger to success in this race, having won it six times in his career to date, but Almania doesn’t have the strong claims that some of his other runners had. So far, he’s raced just twice, winning a seven-furlong maiden on the second of those occasions, but he is bred to be suited by middle-distances this season.
Won a Group 2 on his third and final start last year, but it’s interesting that he was only Aidan O’Brien’s third string on that occasion. He’s another that looks sure to be suited to middle-distances but, though Aidan O’Brien has been winning all the Derby Trials this season, he’s not won this one since 2010.
Line Of Duty
His form was solid if unspectacular last season, until he won at the Breeders’ Cup, a victory which earned him a higher rating than nine of the last 10 winners of the Dante. That makes him impossible to dismiss, even though his form-lines are hard to compare with the other runners.
Rated 106 after winning a Newmarket Handicap over today’s trip off a mark of 96. However, the handicap route is not one that has been followed by many previous Dante winners.
Sired by the top-miler Kingman but showed plenty of stamina to win over the stiff 10-furlongs on the all-weather track at Newcastle last time. However, though he won by 14-lengths that day, he was only 1/8 and the runner-up was beaten two-lengths further on his next start.
Unraced at two but has quickly made up into a useful animal. On debut, he was beaten by a horse that won a Group 3 on his next start, whilst the horse he beat by nine-lengths last time was beaten by just a neck subsequently. He probably needs to take a big step forward again here, but that’s possible as he’s by New Approach who, interestingly, also sired last year’s Derby winner Masar.
Too Darn Hot
Had to miss the 2,000 Guineas because of a setback but was well-backed before winning each of his four runs last season, culminating in victory in the Group 1 Dewhurst on his final start. The form of those wins doesn’t look quite as strong as it did at the time, but he simply oozed class with his ability to travel easily and quicken away from his rivals. That race-style marked him down as a possible miler, but he’s bred to excel at 10-furlongs being by Dubawi out of a Singspiel-sired mare. His rating of 127 is also 11lb higher than that achieved by last year’s winner Roaring Lion prior to his success in this race.
A second runner for the John Gosden stable and he has 25lb to find with his stablemate Too Darn Hot. Worthy of his place on merit, but it’s interesting that he raced prominently when last seen at Epsom and he may well guarantee an even pace throughout.
Dante Stakes Verdict 2019
This is probably one of the classiest Dante Stakes of recent years, with six runners having already achieved a rating of over 100, whilst the other two definitely have the talent to make their mark after just two runs.
We certainly haven’t seen the best of Telecaster of Surfman yet, whilst Japan has been well-hyped in recent weeks, even though Aidan O’Brien hasn’t targeted his best colts at this race in recent years.
That’s why it’s a bit of a surprise the bookies are offering odds-against Too Darn Hot, who was odds-on for the 2,000 Guineas before a slight setback. He’s also bred to appreciate today’s trip, whilst his mark of 127 means he’s officially rated 13lb and upwards better than all his rivals. He’s also rated significantly higher than the three Gosden horses that have won the race in the last four years, whilst the Gosden stable sent out a winner at York on Wednesday.