Dante Festival: Fillies’ gusto underpins intriguing duel at York

York Press: Dante Festival: Fillies’ gusto underpins intriguing duel at York Dante Festival: Fillies’ gusto underpins intriguing duel at York

TWO North Yorkshire fillies dip their toes into Listed race waters today at York after impressive debut wins in maiden company.

Don't Tell Annie, trained by Tim Easterby, won at Pontefract last month, while Richard Fahey's Zuhoor Baynoona broke her maiden at Yarmouth just over a fortnight ago.

The duo now clash in the Langleys Solicitors LLP Marygate Stakes which opens the final day of action at the Dante Festival.

It is difficult to choose between the pair - not that it's a two-horse race by any means with nine of the 13 runners having previously won this season - but Zuhoor Baynoona is narrowly preferred. She will be partnered by Ryan Moore, who was also in the saddle at Yarmouth.

Fahey has yet to get on the York score-sheet this week, despite several near-misses, but today could see him set the record straight.

The Malton trainer also has leading claims with the well-regarded Dutch Courage in the Irish Champion Weekend Fillies' Stakes and recent Redcar winner Innocent Touch who looks likely to relish the step up to a mile and a half in the Racing At York Handicap, which concludes the card.

The Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup, which boasts £140,000 in prize money, is the feature race on the card and although Fahey's runner Glen's Diamond won this Group 2 last year and finished second to Red Cadeaux the previous year, he has a mighty task to uphold that level of form in what looks a vintage renewal of this one and three-quarter miles contest.

The vote goes to Tac de Boistron, the mount of Frankie Dettori, who was mightily impressive at Ascot where he won by five lengths in Group 3 company. He has to concede weight all round here, but looks sure to go well for the Marco Botti team.

David O'Meara has already struck at this meeting and the Nawton trainer can follow up with G Force in the Ralph Raper Handicap with G Force, the mount of Danny Tudhope.

A son of Flanders, who was a top-notch filly for Tim Easterby, G Force was expected to win at Newcastle last month and duly did. Tudhope was mightily impressed and predicted that the three-year-old would become a leading sprinter. This is G Force's handicap debut and it would be unwise to underestimate him as he's a horse with only two races under his belt and is open to bags of improvement.

Tight Fit, trained by Henry Candy, gets the vote in the EBF Breeding Winners ripleycollection.com Fillies' Handicap.

Trained by Henry Candy, the four-year-old should be all the better for her excellent comeback effort at Leicester where she failed by a neck over six furlongs. This extra furlong will suit and she is napped to go one better in the hands of Dane O'Neill, pictured.

At Newbury, Paul Hanagan could prove the jockey to follow. He has several good chances and is fancied to come away with a treble.

Hanagan teams up with Adday in the Al Basti Equiworld Maiden Stakes and this son of Kodiac, an expensive breeze-up sales buy, is bred to be sharp. He hails from the William Haggas stable.

Hanagan can also score on the useful Mushir, who should have benefited from his comeback run last month, in the Bathwick Tyres Carnarvon Stakes, and also the speedy Clouds Rest for his old boss Richard Fahey. The two-year-old was a recent winner at Beverley and might well cope with this step up in class in the Coolmore Stud Fillies' Conditions' Stakes.

Selections

York today

1.45 Zuhoor Baynoona, 2.15 Itlaaq, 2.45 Tac de Boistron, 3.15 Dutch Courage, 3.50 G Force, 4.25 Tight Fit (NAP), 5.00 Innocent Touch.

Newbury today

1.30 Adday, 2.00 Volume, 2.35 Balmoral Castle, 3.05 Kastini, 3.35 Clouds Rest, 4.10 Arab Dawn, 4.45 Mushir, 5.15 Discovery Bay.

Today's other meetings

Aintree, Hamilton and Newmarket.

Tomorrow's meetings

Bangor, Doncaster, Newbury, Newmarket, Thirsk and Uttoxeter.

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