Dante Festival Day 3 Tips: Blue Cup to star at York

Dante Festival Tips: Check out the best bets for day 3 of the meeting at York.
Dante Festival Tips: Check out the best bets for day 3 of the meeting at York.

Day three of York's Dante Festival will provide some exhilarating equine action on Friday, and Steve Chambers has picked out his best bets on the Knavesmire.

14:40 York

Former French-trained raider Blue Cup has been impressive under the stewardship of David Menuisier, and the five-year-old can continue his progression on Friday by landing the 14:40 contest at York. He shaped with notable promise on his reappearance at Epsom, and that run has earned him a spot as race favourite here. A winner over ten furlongs at Sandown last season off a mark of 77, Blue Cup will line up off 93, but that still looks a workable mark for a horse that is extremely lightly-raced and looks to be very progressive. He failed to get a clear run in that Epsom contest off off a mark of 93, and lining up off that same figure today he can make amends and bound to glory.

York 14:40
Blue Cup silk

Blue Cup

lost

15:10 York

The highlight on the final day of the Dante Festival is the Yorkshire Cup, which will see some of the premier staying performers do battle in the Group 2 contest, and there could be some vital Gold Cup clues for next month's Royal Ascot.

Mark Johnston's Sir Ron Priestley has made a blistering return to the track by firstly winning the Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham, before he went on to land glory in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket. Still appearing on an upward curve, the five-year-old entire will be looking to cement his place in the upper echelons of the Gold Cup betting with a win here, but will face his toughest test to date against some proven top class performers.

Nayef Road was no match for Stradivarius in the Sagaro Stakes last time out, and he will need to improve here, but it's the Aidan O'Brien-trained Santiago that could prove to be a notable thorn in the side of Sir Ron Priestley. A classy winner of the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot in his younger days, this Ballydoyle raider showed his ability over shorter when claiming a fine victory in the Irish Derby at the Curragh last June. Showing excellent speed and stamina, Santiago should relish this 1m 5f 188y trip, and while he disappointed on his first run of the season when beaten at odds-on in the Vintage Crop Stakes, he should improve significantly, and in receipt of 3lb from Johnston's market leader, Santiago can bound to staying success.

York 15:10
Santiago silk

Santiago

placed

15:40 York

A hugely competitive 7f contest will take place at 15:40 and this a real head-scratcher for punters in a race that could see a number of potential contenders go off favourite. Tim Easterby's Boardman lines up on the back of an authoritative win at Haydock Park less than a week ago, and while he's been handed a 5lb penalty, he's expecting to go up further in the future, so has to be on the shortlist.

Trinity Lake has been knocking on the door of late with a couple of second placed finishes, and is only 1lb higher on Friday, so must be on the vicinity, with Tom Collins and Molls Memory another duo worthy of a second look, and could be a pair that fight it out for glory.

However, one contender that has rocketed down the handicap in recent seasons, and could reignite old times is the Roger Teal-trained Muntadab, who is handicapped to run a mighty race. Some good York form on his CV, Muntadab has been rated in the mid-100s earlier in his career, but takes his chance off 78 here.  He showed signs of a return to some sort of form when second at Catterick last month, and lining up off the same mark, he appears to stand a magnificent chance of recording his first win since last July, which came off a mark of 87.

York 15:40
Muntadab silk

Muntadab

lost
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