Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes
Group 2, York 15:35
£175,000 guaranteed,
3yo only,
1m 2f 56y, Class 1    
Thursday 12th May 2022


1 Desert Crown 7/2J
2 Royal Patronage 7/2J
3 Bluegrass 7/1
8 ran NR: Masekela (withdrawn, upset in stalls)
Distances: 3¼l, 2½l, 2l Time: 2m 9.46s (slow by 1.06s)

The talking horse Desert Crown lived up to his pre-race billing to run out a smart winner in the Cazoo Derby trial.

This was only his second start, having only raced once as a two-year-old, winning a Nottingham maiden.

There had been an avalanche of support in the weeks in the lead-up to this which had seen him take second position in the ante-post market for the Derby.

And anyone holding a fancy price about the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt will have been delighted to see the way he cruised into it on the Knavesmire, with Richard Kingscote not having to get serious as he held off Royal Patronage by three and a quarter lengths.

Victory gave Stoute a seventh Dante success and he will now look to land the Derby for the sixth time.

“He had that hold up and he was only really ready for a race now so I’m very pleased, he was very smooth,” said the Newmarket handler.

“His temperament isn’t a problem, he’s a very relaxed horse.

“I like the Dante, it’s a good trial, a good test. He’s got further to go at Epsom, but I’d be very hopeful it wouldn’t be a problem.

“I’ve no idea what’s left to come from him, others in the race are bound to improve, too, but you’d have to expect improvement from him as it is only his second start, just his second visit to a racecourse.

“That was a big leap up. He was impressive in his maiden, but as he got behind with the hold up and behind schedule we had to do what we did and he didn’t let me down, he surprised me actually.

“What he showed me there was very encouraging. Other than Workforce all my Dante horses had had a previous race early in the season so that was very encouraging.

“I was excited watching the race, but now I’m calm. It’s a big thrill and it’s good for all the staff, we’re a team.”

Mark Johnston was pleased with Royal Patronage, whose seasonal reappearance was in the Guineas, where he was eighth.

The Middleham trainer said: “You’re never delighted with second, bit it’s nice to be back in the game.

“It was a really good run. Two (furlongs) down I thought we were travelling as well as anybody, but I possibly wasn’t watching the winner at that point.

“I’d like to watch it back as just as we started to make our move it got a little bit tight in front of him. He wasn’t exactly checked, but maybe the winner got a run on us, I’m not sure.

“We ran in a mile in the Guineas, having previously planned to come here and go to Epsom. We talked ourselves into a mile for the Guineas and the one thing we know now is that’s wrong.

“We’ve got lots to think about regarding where he goes next. It could be France (for the French Derby), but it could still be Epsom.

“He’s finished second to the Derby favourite and we’re not ruling anything out.”

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (Group 2)
£175,000 guaranteed, 3yo only, 1m 2f 56y, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Good

1 (3)     Desert Crown 3 9-2 Sir Michael Stoute Richard Kingscote 7/2J
2 (1)
Royal Patronage 3 9-2 Charlie & Mark Johnston Jason Hart 7/2J
3 (2) Bluegrass 3 9-2 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 7/1
4 (8)
2 Dark Moon Rising 3 9-2 Kevin Ryan Kevin Stott 20/1
5 (4)
¾ Kingmax 3 9-2 David Loughnane Rossa Ryan 28/1
6 (9)
White Wolf 3 9-2 Saeed bin Suroor Daniel Tudhope 25/1
7 (7)
nk El Bodegon 3 9-2 James Ferguson Daniel Muscutt 4/1
8 (6)
¾ Magisterial 3 9-2 John & Thady Gosden Frankie Dettori 6/1
WD 7 (5) Masekela 3 9-2 Andrew Balding WITHDRAWN

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