Rory Delargy: Dante Stakes concerns for Derby prospect Epictetus and Passenger

Paddy's top tipster runs his expert eye over Thursday's big race at York...


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The Dante Stakes is, arguably, the key trial for the Derby and a fantastic field of 12 runners are set to the contest the Group 2 at York on Thursday.

A number of form lines will come together but Paddy’s sharp tipster Rory Delargy has question marks over the substance of Epictetus’ latest victory in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom.

Sir Michael Stoute, who saddled Desert Crown to to the Dante Stakes and Derby double last year, is represented by the once-raced Passenger but Rory also has doubts about the son of Ulysses in the 15:35.

The latest Dante Stakes odds can be found on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app, otherwise keep on reading for Rory’s thoughts on the big race at York’s three-day meeting in May.

Rory on Epictetus:

“The Blue Riband Trial is looking a bit shaky already and I wonder whether Epictetus will be happy on quick ground if the weather turns out nice.

“We’re hitting summer now and the ground is going to be tightening up quicker than we’re expecting.

“The horses that were racing on soft and good-to-soft ground are going to be tackling a different surface now.”

Rory on Passenger:

“It’s really tough when you lack experience even against horses that have had two runs.

“Clearly, he’s held in high regard to be in here in the first place. I think he would have handled the conditions at Chester, but they clearly didn’t want to tear the guts out of him on his second start.

“Ulysses is developing a profile as a soft-ground sire. I’d be a little bit concerned about Passenger on faster ground.

“Stall 1 is not easy either for an inexperienced horse. He’ll need to be on his mettle to be away on terms.

“It’s the ideal test. If I was Sir Michael Stoute, I’d be glad he’s in here as it will give an idea if it’s worth taking him to Epsom. He’s got a tough task.”

Rory on The Foxes:

“I’m going for one with plenty of experience but is still capable of better – and that’s The Foxes.

“He looks like he will keep getting better as he steps up in trip. He’s out of a Darshaan mare, who has produced a couple of winners at an extended mile-and-a-quarter already.

“He will be well suited to this and won’t mind any hurly burly that goes on because he’s learnt a lot from his racing so far.

“He’s got the profile of the horse you want to be backing each-way because you don’t know what you’re running into. He’s very solid and it will take a very good horse to beat him.”

York Tips

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