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Mark Johnston-trained duo in Dante Stakes reckoning

Last Updated: 02/04/14 2:59pm

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Somewhat: Entered in the Dante

Somewhat: Entered in the Dante

Sky Bet

Middleham trainer Mark Johnston has two of the 73 entries in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York on May 15.

Johnston could run either Hartnell, third in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, or Somewhat, narrowly beaten in the Royal Lodge Stakes.

Johnston said: "Hartnell and Somewhat are very well - they worked Tuesday morning. I couldn't say, for sure, which one was more likely to run in the Dante.

"At this stage, we will be keeping the options open - they will have a few other entries, but the Dante is a serious consideration for one or both."

Of Hartnell, Johnston said: "The French race was a mile and a quarter, but there is absolutely no doubt that he will be better over further. And I think there is no doubt he will be better in time.

"Somewhat did look to run a bit too free and basically not get home (when ninth in the Racing Post Trophy). So that would be why I harbour some doubts about whether he will stay as far as his pedigree suggests."

Another northern trainer, Kevin Ryan, could run The Grey Gatsby, who showed smart form after winning his maiden at York last year.

"The Grey Gatsby is a lovely horse to have," said Ryan.

"He has grown, got stronger and improved. He doesn't lack speed but which direction we'll go, we'll find out once we've run him.

"He will have two entries (at the Craven meeting) at Newmarket - one in the Craven, the other in the nine-furlong Feilden Stakes. That will determine whether he'll go for a Guineas or wait and go for the Dante."

Aidan O'Brien has 15 entries, which include the buzz horse Australia. Be Ready, Berkshire and Kingston Hill are other eyecatchers.

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