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totesport Dante Stakes 2011  

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By Dylan Jenear ValueChecker

Carlton House Confirms Derby Credentials in Dante
12/05/11

1 Carlton House 11/4
2 Seville 5/4F
3 Pisco Sour 40/1
6 ran Distances: 1½l, 2½l, 3¼l
TIME 2m 13.49s (slow by 5.99s)

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Carlton House is no bigger than 2-1 for the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 4 following his victory in the totesport.com Dante Stakes at York.

Carlton House
© Racehorse Photos

Carlton House

Ridden by Ryan Moore, who partnered Stoute’s Workforce to win the 2010 Derby, looked confident aboard Carlton House after turning for home, sitting in the slipstream of the eventual second and third, Seville and Pisco Sour, before pouncing at the furlong marker.

The acceleration displayed by the son of Street Cry was impressive, and while the winning margin was a length and a half, it’s fair to say that he won with a bit left in the locker. Although the race posed questions as well as answers owing to the fact that it was a steadily-run affair, Carlton House looks certain to appreciate the step up to the Derby trip of a mile and a half.

Ladbrokes reacted by shortening The Queen’s colt to 6-4 and the firm’s spokesman David Williams commented: ‘It’s difficult to say with cards yet to be played, but it’s not inconceivable he could go off evens or odds-on [for the Epsom Derby].’

The Dante is a traditionally strong trial for Flat racing’s Blue Riband event, and Carlton House is certainly worthy of his place at the head of the market. Indeed, with Frankel bypassing Epsom, credible challengers are thin on the ground.

World Domination
© Racehorse Photos

World Domination
The disappointment of the Dante was World Domination, though Henry Cecil’s charge was not helped by the sedate early pace. The Empire Maker colt made Tom Queally earn his corn in the early stages of the race, taking a fierce hold, and with the race essentially turning into a spring in the home straight he was readily outpaced before staying on again in the closing stages.

World Domination is now as big as 20-1 for Epsom glory, and it may be that he will bypass the race in favour of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. Dante runner-up Seville, however, looks certain to head to the Derby. He didn’t lose anything in defeat, but it’s difficult to see why he should turn the tables with Carlton House next month.

Seville’s stablemate Recital, who scored at Leopardstown recently, is generally second favourite for the Derby, with 7-1 the best price on offer, while French raider Pour Moi, who was impressive in his trial at Saint-Cloud, is a top-priced 12-1.

However, aside from Carlton House, the credentials of Native Khan look pretty solid, and he appeals as a good each-way betting proposition at 16-1 (available with Victor Chandler and William Hill at the time of writing).

The Ed Dunlop-trained colt, cosy winner of the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance, ran a cracking race in the 2,000 Guineas back on the Rowley Mile subsequently, coming home 6½ lengths third to Frankel.

The grey was clearly flattered by his proximity to the extremely impressive winner, but he did keep on well, in turn finishing 11 lengths clear of the fourth, and he shapes for all the world as though a stiffer test of stamina will suit. I’m surprised that he can be backed at 16s and punters could do a lot worse than have an ante-post investment in the Azamour colt.

 

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