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York

  • 14:30 Betfred Dante Stakes 1m 2f 88y

  • (Group 2) £150,000 added 3yo 7 ran
  • Winner £85,065 2nd £32,250 3rd £16,140 4th £8,040
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 2m 10.52s
  • Off time: 14:32:47

Full result

14:30 York Result 17th May 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st (4) Bonfire 9-0 J Fortune A M Balding 3 3/1
Tracked leaders, led going well over 2f out, soon strongly pressed, ridden 1f out, ran on, in command towards finish opened 3/1 touched 3/1 £9000-£3000 £6000-£2000 £1500-£500(x3) £5500-£2000 £1650-£600 £1375-£500
2nd (3) ¾ Ektihaam (IRE) 9-0 T P O'Shea R Varian 3 6/1
Held up in rear, took keen hold, headway over 3f out, challenged over 2f out, soon ridden, every chance after until held towards finish opened 11/2 touched 6/1 £5000-£800
3rd (1) 4 Fencing (USA) 9-0 William Buick J H M Gosden 3 7/2
Held up, headway over 3f out, challenged going well 2f out, ridden over 1f out, not pace of leaders 1f out, held after, eased close home opened 4/1 touched 4/1 £4800-£1200 £4000-£1000
4th (7) 10 Dream Tune 9-0 A Kirby C G Cox 3 40/1
Held up in 5th, ridden over 2f out, soon beaten and edged left, weakened 1f out opened 33/1 touched 40/1
5th (2) ½ Ptolemaic 9-0 T Eaves B Smart 3 25/1
Slowly into stride, soon recovered to track leaders, ridden over 3f out, hung left 2f out, weakened 1f out opened 25/1 touched 33/1
6th (6) 9 Mandaean 9-0 M Barzalona M Al Zarooni 3 11/2
Tracked leaders, ridden over 3f out, soon beaten opened 5/1 touched 6/1 £16500-£3000
7th (5) 14 Ernest Hemingway (IRE) 9-0 J P O'Brien A P O'Brien 3 11/4f
Led, ridden and headed over 2f out, well beaten over 1f out, eased inside final furlong opened 10/3 touched 10/3 £7000-£2000 £2100-£600 £2000-£600 £1500-£500

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £3.70 Tote Place: £2.20,2.60
Straight Forecast: £19.37 Exacta: £24.30 Swingers: 1&2:3.80 2&3:4.40 1&3:2.30

Jackpot: £11,875.80, Pool: £91996.35, 5.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £50.10, Pool: £211529.19, 3079.13 winning tickets
Quadpot: £14.60, Pool: £9126.33, 462.55 winning tickets

Verdict

An impressive performance from BONFIRE who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Reference Point and Authorized (to name but two) in going on to win at Epsom. He's related to a winner over 10 furlongs but his sire won over 12 and should impart sufficient stamina to believe that he has every chance of getting the longer trip while the way that he settled and travelled easily behind the pace (in contrast to a couple of his rivals who pulled for their heads) bodes well for the Derby. His winning margin was only narrow but it appeared as though he had something left in the locker with his jockey believing that he was in front for long enough. His two juvenile performances came on soft ground but he had no problems with the quicker conditions on the Knavesmire although he may not want conditions to ride too fast. He beat two horses who, in all likelihood were running over their optimum trips in Ektihaam and Fencing. The former failed to handle the track at Newmarket in the Dewhurst but has developed into a high-class performer this term. He has a long raking stride and a straight like this where he has time to build his challenge plays to his strengths. He's a big sort who should continue to progress through the season and the French Derby and Hampton Court Stakes are now under consideration. Given that he tends to be ridden from off the pace and seems to take some time to wind up there must be a doubt as to whether either course would play to his strengths. Fencing appeared to be travelling every bit as well as the winner with a quarter of a mile to run so the manner in which his run flattened out was really rather disappointing. He had missed some work prior to the Guineas but should have been straight enough here and, perhaps, it was the energy exerted in pulling for his head early on that led to his relatively tame finish. This was, however, a small step in the right direction and it would be no surprise to see him take his chance in the French Derby where his chance would be respected. Workforce broke the hoodoo of beaten horses in the Dante going on to win the Derby but it is unlikely that Mandaean - reportedly Godolphin's number one Epsom hope - will be following suit. Very easy to back having opened up at around 3-1 second favourite in the initial markets, this was a very disappointing run for a horse that had looked a decent prospect in winning both starts (including a Group One) for Andre Fabre at two. He took some time to settle but was beaten too far out for that to have been an issue and it remains to be seen whether something comes to light. As weak as he was in the market, Ernest Hemingway - an impressive winner of a Dundalk maiden - was strong but Camelot's stablemate failed to live up to market expectations having been allowed an easy time of things out in front and was eased right down with his rider reporting that his colt had lost its action. It will be interesting to see if he can justify the weight of market support when back on track later in the season. Dream Tune had shown ability in two starts in maidens and ran as well as could have been expected in the face of a stiff task; he deserves to have his sights lowered and his confidence boosted before being stepped back up in class with his St James's Palace Stakes and Eclipse entries looking optimistic at this stage. Ptolemaic is another who deserves the chance to get his head in front after running here and in the Guineas and he may be able to pick up a small prize at Listed level.