FEW will have forgotten that Libertarian, last year's Dante Stakes winner, was trained at Middleham by Elaine Burke. And it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that North Yorkshire could again clinch today's featured Derby trial, sponsored by Betfred, courtesy of The Grey Gatsby, trained by Kevin Ryan at Hambleton.
The mount of Ryan Moore, The Grey Gatsby, who showed high-class form as a juvenile last year, has had two outings this term.
Runner-up to last year's champion two-year-old Toormore in the Craven Stakes, the three-year-old subsequently finished in the ruck in the 2,000 Guineas, but was still beaten only six lengths by the winner Night Of Thunder. He now steps up in distance, which is expected to bring out more improvement in him.
Kieren Fallon, rider of Night Of Thunder, now partners Godolphin's True Story, an impressive winner of the Fielden Stakes at Newmarket last month. He is clearly a useful colt, prominent in the Derby betting, and expected by many to advance his Epsom claims this afternoon. But he still has something to prove to confirm himself the real deal and, on ground perhaps slower than ideal for him, he does not make huge appeal as a betting medium at his expected cramped odds.
Bunker showed himself to be useful in his three starts last season, while Arod, Odeon and Saab Almanai are horses with bright futures. But this could well prove to be a good opportunity for The Grey Gatsby to clinch a major race - and put the North Yorkshire tag on another Dante victory.
Jason Hart, last year's champion apprentice, can get punters off to a good start aboard Long Awaited in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap.
David Barron's talented sprinter may be an infrequent winner, but he is useful on his day and was unlucky at Goodwood on his reappearance. He can go well.
Frankie Dettori fans could well be cheering the popular rider, pictured, after the Betfred Middleton Stakes, in which he teams-up with Thistle Bird.
Roger Charlton's filly, winner of a Group 3 race at Epsom last summer, ended the term with an excellent third-placed effort in the Prix de L'Opera at Longchamp in October. This looks a knocking opportunity for her to start the new campaign on a winning note.
Fort Bastion and Ingleby Angel finished first and second in the Thirsk Hunt Cup a couple of weeks ago and the pair should again go well in the Betfred Hambleton Handicap.
It may well be that the positions, however, will be reversed this time. Ingleby Angel, trained by David O'Meara, meets his conqueror on slightly better terms and is fancied to turn the tables.
Justice Day (3.50), who finished third in last year's Middle Park Stakes, and Calculated Risk (5.00), who got going all too late at Pontefract last time, are two others to consider on day two of the Dante Festival.
Today's nap is Realtra in the opening Homestore and Safepac Maiden Stakes at Newmarket's evening fixture.
Richard Fahey's filly has gone narrowly in her two starts at Beverley and Ripon. She make it third-time-lucky over this extra furlong.
Paul Hanagan, rider of Realtra, can enjoy a lucrative time at HQ. He also rides the promising Tabreek (6.25) and the Fahey-trained Alquimia (8.05), who was a comfortable winner in maiden company at Haydock late last month.
1.45 Long Awaited, 2.15 Thistle Bird, 2.45 The Grey Gatsby, 3.15 Ingleby Angel, 3.50 Justice Day, 4.25 Gaudy, 5.00 Calculated Risk.
5.25 Realtra (NAP), 5.55 Ocean Applause, 6.25 Tabreek, 7.00 Quest For More, 7.35 Cosette, 8.05 Alquimia, 8.35 Sir Pedro.
Today's other meetings
Fontwell, Perth and Salisbury.
Aintree, Hamilton , Newbury, Newmarket and York.