5 reasons why the Dante Festival can’t be missed

The Dante Festival is where star horses rise to prominence, the victors of the three feature races have been known to claim the biggest prizes on the flat, so don’t miss your chance to see future greats in action!

The Festival is over three days from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th May with four Group Two races headlining the high class racing on offer.

York racecourse is also one of the best tracks in the UK, the course wins awards every year including the Flat Racecourse of the Year Award and came out top of The Times newspaper survey of all Britain’s racecourses.

 

The Biggest Derby trial of them all – the Dante Stakes

Golden Horn winning the Dante stakes (left) and Epsom Derby (right)

The Group Two race is the leading trial for the Epsom Derby with 10 previous racehorses achieving the Dante / Derby double, the latest winner is Golden Horn back in 2015.

The Dante stakes is run over a distance of 1 mile 2 furlongs and it will take place on Thursday 18th May at 3:30pm. Trainer John Gosden will be looking for a hat-trick of winners on Thursday having trained the two previous winners, Wings Of Desire and Golden Horn.

Find out the top six Dante / Derby champions here!

 

A record breaking year

There will be the highest ever amount of prize money at the Dante Festival this year with a grand total of £1.2 million which is up £45,000 from 2016. The financial rewards have risen for the sixth year in succession showing the good health of York racecourse.

The large financial rewards are a reflection of the quality of racing, all three of the feature races are in the top 250 contests in the world!

 

An Epsom Oaks winner could emerge in Wednesday’s feature race

Sariska winning the Musidora stakes (left) and the Oaks (right) with jockey Jamie Spencer pulling off the same celebration

The big one on Wednesday is the Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at 4:05pm, it is run over 1 mile and 2 furlongs with Shutter Speed currently this year’s leading contender.

There have been six fillies who have been victorious in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes and the Epsom Oaks. Sariska is the last horse to win both races back in 2009, she was made favourite and triumphed in a thrilling battle against Midday to win by a head! (watch the race below)

 

Paul Hanagan aims to be top jockey at York for a fourth time

Johannes and Paul Hanagan (blue) winning The Totepool Flexi Betting Handicap Stakes

The two-time Champion Jockey, Paul Hanagan, has returned to Yorkshire this year after a successful spell down south riding as number one to Sheikh Hamdan.

Hanagan has returned to trainer Richard Fahey’s yard and one of his biggest goals this year is becoming the leading jockey at York for a fourth time. There can be no doubt that Hanagan will be giving his all at the Dante Festival to kick-start his journey to becoming the top jockey at York racecourse!

 

Magical Memory returns as the Duke Of York reigning champ

Magical Memory and Frankie Dettori leaping after winning The 2016 Duke of York Stakes

The Group Two Duke Of York Stakes has a high class field with Group One and Two winners. Brando heads the market with Magical Memory a close second, however, there are a number of contenders in the 13-strong field.

The five year old grey Magical Memory defeated Suedois, who is also entered for this year’s race, by half a length last year.