Horse Racing Tips: Paddy Power’s Cheat Sheet for Day 1 of York’s Dante Festival

Here we go! Day one of the three-day fiesta and Paddy's pundits are here to give you a steer.

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The Flat season’s in full swing and Paddy’s limbering up for a crack at three days of tip-top racing from York’s Dante festival.

Wednesday to Friday will see the great and the good converge on the Knavesmire for a string of thrilling contests and our top team of tipsters are going to be on hand everyday with their best bets.

Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman, Jason Weaver, Rory Delargy and our racing boffins at Timeform have been studying the form, crunching the numbers and comparing the prices on bottles of champagne ahead of the opening day in Yorkshire.

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It all gets underway at 13:50 on Wednesday with the Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap where Gaassee is a popular choice.

Minzaal’s caught the eye for the 15:00 Duke of York Stakes, while Jason and Matt agree that Life of Dreams has the best claims in the 15:35 Musidora Stakes.

And with Paddy digging deep with some race-day sponsorship each day, our pundits will be on hand to hopefully guide you towards a few winners.

Ruby Walsh

Matt Chapman

Jason Weaver

Rory Delargy

Timeform

Ruby Walsh

Gaassee is hard to get away from given he’s won three on the bounce. 

Matt Chapman

I’ll have a few quid eachway on DARK JEDI for Tim Easterby and Duran Fentiman. I tipped him at this track last year in a similar type of event in August and he ran a fine third at 11-1 off a mark of 95.

Jason Weaver

GAASSEE was a rapid improver last season and rattled off the hat-trick in easy fashion without being fully extended. He should improve again as a three-year-old. 

Rory Delargy

GAASSEE has a turf pedigree but he’s done all of his racing on the all-weather tracks so far and now has his rating. There’s no reason to think that he won’t be as good on turf. 

Timeform

GAASSEE had plenty up his sleeve when making a winning handicap debut at Kempton in December, and with further improvement on the cards, can complete the four-timer. 

Ruby Walsh

I’ve landed on Wobwobwob for Joanna Mason and Adrian Keatley. He has plenty of form over 7f and he ran well last time out at Thirsk. The draw is key.

Matt Chapman

MR WAGYU is still quite high in the handicap but might be better drawn than leading fancies Bergerac and Woven who are both stuck high.

Jason Weaver

ABERAMA GOLD finished eighth in this contest last season when rated 102 and now finds himself perched on a very enticing mark of just 88. What’s not to like? 

Rory Delargy

I like Aberama Gold for Silvestre De Sousa and Keith Dalgleish but I’m taking a little chance. He’s been slightly out of form this season but he’s a course winner. 

Timeform

Course and distance winner  NOMADIC EMPIRE ended 2021 on the up and was unlucky not to make a winning return when suffering a poor run at Ripon so gets the vote. 

Ruby Walsh

Dragon Symbol is a very good horse but I feel Minzaal’s preparation will be better for this and could be more ‘forward’ at this stage of the season. 

Matt Chapman

The bet for me has to be MINZAAL, who was last seen finishing third behind Creative Force and Glen Shiel in the Group 1 British Champions Sprint at Ascot. Any rain will help.

Jason Weaver

DRAGON SYMBOL was very unlucky with the ground conditions last season and posted some remarkable efforts in defeat. Makes his return to action for Roger Varian, having switched from Archie Watson’s yard. 

Rory Delargy

Minzaal has great form, a good enough draw in stall six and the track suits him. Dragon Symbol is the danger.

Timeform

MINZAAL is less exposed than most and looks the type to do better still this year so, back at the scene of his impressive Gimcrack victory in 2020, he gets the nod ahead of Dragon Symbol and Happy Romance, who are both likeable, tough sprinters. 

Ruby Walsh

I can see why Emily Upjohn is the favourite but I’m going for The Algarve who has strong Irish form in the book.

Matt Chapman

Emily Upjohn was awesome at Sandown but equally so was LIFE OF DREAMS on debut for Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and William Buick. The daughter of Dubawi made her racecourse debut at Newbury on April 22 and hacked up by nearly four lengths in a decent field.

Jason Weaver

LIFE OF DREAMS could not of been more impressive on her racecourse debut at Newbury. She’s the offspring of Endless Time who was a Lancashire Oaks winner for the team and looks destined to climb a good way up the ladder. 

Rory Delargy

I don’t have a lot of confidence in this race in terms of betting so I’ll be watching instead. Ching Shih is of similar calibre to The Algarve but she’s bred for this and could go well at a price. 

Timeform

EMILY UPJOHN made short work of her rivals when defying a penalty by a wide margin in a Sandown novice on her return 3 weeks ago and that is by far the best form on offer. 

Ruby Walsh

Mojomaker nearly nabbed Al Barez at the line at Doncaster last month after getting going late on. He was only beaten a nose and going up in trip will really suit him. 

Matt Chapman

SAMBURU could easily be a class above this lot. Trained by the Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, the son of Kingman has scored at both Yarmouth and Salisbury, keeping on well last time over this trip.

Jason Weaver

SAMBURU has not been fully extended to win both his races to date. A mark of 88 looks a very nice introduction to the handicapping ranks. 

 

Rory Delargy

I’m siding with Mojomaker for trainer David Loughnane. He’s a solid performer for an underrated stable and the  booking of William Buick is solid. He stays 7f.

Timeform

The Group 1 entered SAMBURU who has the potential to be a cut above this 0-90 level and is taken to remain unbeaten. There should be more to come from Fast And Loose now handicapping so he’s feared most ahead of Doncaster runner-up Mojomaker.

What do you think?