Day 1 of the York Dante meeting gets going today, with four races on ITV4, the main events being the two Group contests at 3.00 & 3.35.

The Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at 3.35 is a recognised trial for the Oaks and, this year has a field of ten, headed, yet again, by a John Gosden trained runner Sparkle Roll.

Oisin Murphy‘s ride put up an impressive display on seasonal debut when giving half a stone and a beating to King Power at Sandown, despite not being totally at ease on the very quick ground. Conditions today, although not ideal, will suit better and she shouldn’t be opposed at 5-2.

Sprinters are to the fore in the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at 3.00, including the seemingly evergreen Limato. Favourite for the race is James Tate‘s representative Invincible Army, but we feel that this can be taken on with Yafta.

Richard Hannon‘s 4-y-o picked up a Group 3 contest last season and returned to the fray in the Abernant at Newmarket, looking all over the winner before being nutted on the line by a 66-1 poke. With plenty of improvement to come this year, we recommend a serious each way play at 4-1.

Two fierce-looking handicaps make up the viewing entertainment, starting with the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap at 1.50.

Just 18 go to post for this 12 furlong contest and we throw two darts, starting with an each way bash at First Eleven at 5-1.

Another Johnny G inmate, this 4-y-o was a desperately unlucky loser at Royal Ascot but made amends at the same track in September, running away with a very competitive handicap. First Eleven closed his 3-y-o season with a close third in a Group 3 and, off today’s mark of 104, the Mad Italian can bring him home in front.

We also can’t resist a minor punt on Indianapolis, ex AO’B and now with James Given. Seemed to outrun its rating when second in a conditions race at Doncaster first time out this season and could outrun its odds this afternoon. Have a little on each way at 33-1.

The 6f Infinity Tyres Handicap at 2.25 has a mere 21 runners but may not be as impossible as it looks. We think the market has got this race about right and recommend each way bets on Staxton and Aljady, which are both trading around the 6-1 mark.

And now the bonus race:

Regular readers will no doubt remember our previous musings about horses trained by ‘unfashionable’ yards being longer prices than their form dictates and the last race on the card, the Lindum Construction Group Handicap at 5.05 contains one such.

Step forward Benadalid and back it each way at 12-1.

Chris Fairhurst‘s 4-y-o picked up a Class 2 handicap last summer off a mark of 83 and made a highly promising start to this season with a closing fourth behind today’s favourite at Thirsk. Better off at the weights and sure to be fitter, Michael Stainton can steer it home from Trap 1.

You heard it here first.


Sparkle Roll 3.35 York 4pts win @ 5-2
Yafta 3.00 York 3pts e/w @ 4-1
First Eleven 1.50 York 2pts e/w @ 5-1 (5 places)
Indianapolis 1.50 York 0.5pts e/w @ 33-1 (5 places)
Staxton 2.25 York 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (6 places SkyBet)
Aljady 2.25 York 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (6 places SkyBet)
Benadalid 5.05 York 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)

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