LAST-CHANCE FOR A DERBY PUNT BEFORE THE DANTE: If Roaring Lion wins the Dante Stakes today, Daqman will be laying off some of the 20.0 on BETDAQ taken for Epsom after the 2,000 Guineas (he’s now around 17.0). His Dante place bet today, White Mocha, was 66.0 in the Derby ante-post orange this morning, with Wells Farhh Go 33.0. If you think none of these will win the Derby, offers for others in the market may shorten. So take an Epsom punt before the Dante winner is known.

DAQMAN WEARS THE YORK CORONET AFTER DAY ONE: Hamada (WON 5-2) successfully launched York for Daqman yesterday but he was left on 278 points profit for a week’s betting (target 300). He remains 94 points ahead in feature races selected by Pricewise of the Racing Post: Daqman 21, Pricewise 6. Profits yield to one-point level stakes +26 Daqman -68. Today’s York headlines:



2.20 York I’m aiming a low blow at the layers. The single-figure stalls delivered all three sprint wins yesterday at York from gates 3 (once) and 5 (twice), and eight of the 10 winners of this race in the decade trapped from 1, 3, 4 (three times) and 5 (three times).

When you have a winner like George Bowen yesterday, suddenly returning to his 2015 form, then you can’t be too confident, even with the stalls shouting this double whammy of past results prompted by yesterday’s action.

But in theory we’re picking from Dark Shot, El Astronaute, Copper Knight, East Street Review and Line Of Reason.

The market leader, Major Jumbo, is in stall 17 and has won only with cut in the ground. That helps our confidence. But which of our five, for two bets against the field? In draw order, follow my lines of reason!

Dark Shot (1): Despite the George Bowens of this world, form is the only way to bet.

The stable is showing plenty but Dark Shot is a cast-off from Andrew Balding’s yard, with form figures on good to firm of 2444404

El Astronaute (2): A long way in front of Dark Shot in August and has won on firm but the handicapper won’t forgive him Ascot, Chester and Goodwood success last year.

Copper Knight (3): Won here at York last May. That came after an outing but he’s dropped to within a pound of that winning mark.

However, Tim Easterby’s 7-1 favourite yesterday, Orion’s Bow, ran down the field and the stable came away with form figures for the day of 0000300, some ‘fancies’ drifting to 33-1, 40-1 and even 50-1.

East Street Revue (4): Same stable. Won a 20-runner handicap here last autumn from stall 6 but 5lb higher now.

Line Of Reason (5): The trainer has had three winners from eight runners in five days, and Line Of Reason – I took 10.0 on BETDAQ this morning – has been dropped 12lb since he won the Gosforth Park Cup last summer.

He had just won the Scottish Sprint (good to firm) at Musselburgh off a pace set by El Astronaute, who finished seventh, just in front of East Street Revue. Deja Vue, I hope.


2.55 York (Middleton Stakes) Coronet and Mori were one-two, separated by a neck, in the Ribblesdale Stakes, a kind of Royal Ascot Derby for fillies.

Coronet continued to give a good account in Group 1 but Mori’s form fell away (including an odds-on defeat here at York) and she has had to have a wind op, leaving her with 7lb to find against her old rival today.


3.30 York (Dante Stakes) Authorized, North Light, Motivator, Golden Horn all did the Dante-Epsom double, and there have also been three seconds, a third and a fourth this century, while another Dante winner went on to take the Irish Derby.

This column took 20-0 on BETDAQ about Roaring Lion for the Epsom Derby when the Press rejected him after his defeat in. the 2,000 Guineas, whereas I thought he ran a good Derby trial, staying on… well, like a stayer against fast milers, which is exactly what he was.

This week the John Gosden connections put their money down and made Roaring Lion favourite for today over the stable’s Blue Riband Trial winner, Crossed Baton.

The runner-up in that trial has since been well beaten in the Dee Stakes at Chester by Rostropovich for Aiden O’Brien, who now runs the fourth colt back in the Blue Riband, James Cook.

Mildenberger was behind Roaring Lion in the Royal Lodge Stakes and, on Acomb Stakes form at York, Wells Farrh Go is on the same level as James Garfield, who was seventh in the Guineas.

White Mocha divided Guineas third, Masar, and an unfit Roaring Lion in the Craven Stakes, and is bred to go round again.

Merlin Magic was a long way behind Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion in the Racing Post Trophy and looks outclassed.

Remember none of them have to stay the Derby distance today – this is only the Eclipse trip – and much depends on the pace. I shall stick with Roaring Lion with 14.0 offer White Mocha the one for a place at a price.


2.20 York (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET: 5pts win and place LINE OF REASON

2.55 York (win 30)
BET 11.5pts win (nap) CORONET

3.30 York (win 20, place win 10)
BET 1.5pts win and 3.5pts place WHITE MOCHA

5.35 York (win 20)
BET 3pts win and place GRACELAND

6.55 Newmarket (win 20)
BET 1.5pts win and place PAST MASTER

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