York Dante Festival Day 1 Bets | Talented but quirky

York Dante Festival

Saturday’s column covering the action at Ascot and Lingfield regained the losses obtained from Chester last week, so we sit in profit ahead of the York Dante Festival.

Fair play to the ground staff at York Racecourse for their frequent and detailed updates on the ground, so it looks as if the ground will start on good, good to firm in places.

Let’s dive in.


2:15 York – Chillingham @ 7/1 with BetVictor (4 places) – 1pt EW

Embed from Getty Images

In the opener, there are a few reasons to think Chillingham could run well under Callum Rodriguez.

Trainer Edward Bethell applies the first-time cheekpieces to his five-year-old by Ulysses today, and based on his recent performances, this should help as he wandered slightly when second at Wolverhampton three starts ago.

Speaking of that run, that marked his first dive into a 14-furlong race and P J McDonald decided to stride on with him early into the race, so he did well to remain in contention at the line on his first start at the extended distance.

Prydwen (who has improved 14lbs since) won the race and Zealandia (rated 4lbs higher) finished third; Zealandia beat stablemate Enemy two starts later, a piece of form that looks strong as Enemy beat Military Order (2023 Lingfield Derby Trial winner) at Southwell before finishing second to Tower Of London in the Group 3 Red Sea Turf Handicap.

The recent rain will help take the sting out of the ground, so he’ll have no excuses in that department, and a mark of 96 is 1lb below the mark he was on when he finished a close second at Ripon in a Class 2 0-105 handicap.


4:15 York – Mortlake @ 8/1 with BetVictor (4 places) – 1pt EW

Embed from Getty Images

If Ralph Beckett has Mortlake ready to go on his first start of the season, there is a lot to like about his profile in this handicap.

The three-year-old has to shoulder top weight, but he deserves to based on his juvenile season.

The 100,000gns purchased bolted up by five lengths at Leicester on his second start of the season before he contested the Group 3 Solario Stakes.

He came home in fifth that day, beaten just over two lengths, but the third (Devil’s Point) finished second in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes on his next start.

Furthermore, he shaped nicely behind horses that day and Rossa Ryan had to momentarily stop riding one furlong from home as his mount moved tight to the rail.

Connections have gelded him since and he drops into handicap company for the first time, so his mark of 96 looks interesting.


5:20 York – Wahraan @ 9/2 with William Hill (6 places) – 2pt Win

Embed from Getty Images

In the finale, despite his quirky character, Wahraan gets the nod in the Class 4 0-85 handicap.

The six-year-old has had his fair share of issues so far during his career as he had a total of 786 days away from the track between September 2021 and December 2023.

However, having started his career with Sir Michael Stoute, the six-year-old by Le Havre is under the guidance of Jamie Osborne and has scope in his mark to improve.

Firstly, the chestnut gelding once had a rating of 96 – admittedly, in 2021 – but his time on the sidelines and a few poor runs have pushed his mark down to 82.

On his last start, he wore a hood for the first time and dropped into a Class 4 handicap for the second time, and despite giving up nearly eight lengths at the start, he stayed on past horses to finish a close third.

That wasn’t the first time he displayed issues at the starting stalls but it was the most pronounced event of his career.

His actions out of the gates are a concern for today, but he is riddled with talent and he even comes from the same family as Was (2012 Epsom Oaks winner), Douglas Macarthur (2017 Group 3 Leopardstown Derby Trial winner), and Amhran Na Bhfiann (2020 Epsom Derby third).

All things considered, I’ll give him a chance today.

Live Horse Racing Odds

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.