The season of summer flat festivals continues, with the three-day Dante Festival getting underway at York this afternoon.
The action kicks off at the Knavesmire at 1:50, with a 1m4f Handicap opening the seven-race card.
The team have taken a look through the contests, in the hope of picking out some winners at the Yorkshire track.
Here are their best bets for the opening day of the Dante Festival at York.
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NAP – DRAGON SYMBOL – 3:00 York (3/1 – Various)
A smart colt now under the guidance of Roger Varian, Dragon Symbol could strike on his stable debut in the Duke Of York Stakes.
The son of Cable Bay was fairly consistent under Archie Watson last season and was fairly unlucky to be demoted to second in the Commonwealth Cup at Epsom last June.
He was disappointing last time out at Ascot, but the four-year-old could strike on his first start for his new connections as he has impressed in training.
Dragon Symbol’s price of 3/1 looks generous in this contest and he could well prove to be the one to beat here.
NB – THE ALGARVE – 3:35 York (8/1 – Various)
Following the sheer domination from Aidan O’Brien’s yard in the Derby and Oaks trials, it seems dangerous to go against The Algarve in the Musidora Stakes this afternoon.
The filly got off the mark at Galway back in October at the third time of asking, striking over a mile in tough conditions.
Her pedigree is seriously eye-catching as she is a full sister to Group 1 winner Van Gogh, she’s a half-sister to a whopping eight winners and her dam has won the Oaks and the Irish 1,000 Guineas.
While she does have 11lbs to find on the favourite, it is seriously tough to bet against The Algarve and she could put up a big performance at a decent price here.
LONGSHOT – SUMMERGHAND – 2:25 York (20/1 – Various)
A former Graded winner last season, Summerghand returns to sprint handicaps for David O’Meara.
The eight-year-old has proven to be a threat at his current mark, as he won the 2020 Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood when 5lbs higher and got the better of the likes of Oxted and Emaraaty Ana in the Abernant Stakes last summer.
The gelding hasn’t been in great form since though and his Middle East campaign was disappointing, to say the least.
However, he shouldn’t be discredited at his current mark and if he can rediscover his previous form, Summerghand could at least push into the places in this large-field handicap.