Dante Festival Course Guide and Key Stats

Timeform’s in-depth guide to York, featuring all the key facts and figures for the Dante Festival 2022.

Timeform’s York Course Guide

Left-handed, flat. Essentially, York is a very fair track, ideal for the galloper with long strides. In recent seasons, the peloton has tended to drop further down the center of the track than was the case historically, particularly if the conditions are difficult. The track was upgraded to a circuit in 2005 and offers a five furlong/six furlong straight track, on which high draw has been a distinct disadvantage in recent years, while seven furlong races start on a chute.

Main active jockeys in York

Sorted by strike fare over the past five years (minimum 20 trips)

  • Frankie Dettori 22.99% (20-87)
  • Sean Levey 18.52% (5-27)
  • Connor Beasley 17.50% (14-80)
  • James Doyle 17.07% (21-123)
  • Stevie Donohoe 16.67% (5-30)

Other points to consider

  • Daniel Tudhope has been the most successful jockey at York since 2017, with 32 winners out of 290 races, running at a strike rate of 11.03%. Two of those victories came in successive editions of the Listed Westow Stakes on Dante Festival Thursday in 2017 and 2018, a race he also won in 2013.
  • David Allan is the second most successful jockey with 23 winners out of 219 races and was also profitable to follow, returning a profit of 26.19.
  • Andrea Atzeni, William Buick, Tom Marquand and Silvestre de Sousa were the most successful jockeys at Dante Festival last year with two winners each. Marquand was Top Jockey at York for the first time in 2021.

Main active coaches at York

Sorted by strike rate over the past five years (minimum 20 riders)

  • John (and Thady) Gosden 27.10% (29-107)
  • Charlie Appleby 24.56% (14-57)
  • Ed Dunlop 23.81% (5-21)
  • Owen Burrows 19.05% (4-21)
  • Guillaume Haggas 17.62% (37-210)

Other points to consider

  • Local coach Tim Easterby has been York’s most successful coach since 2017, with 39 winners out of 451 runners. Although this equates to a strike rate of just 8.65%, the stable riders reported a substantial level profit of 103.12.
  • Easterby was also the main trainer at last year’s Dante Festival where he saddled three winners and was top trainer at York for the second time in 2021. Andrew Balding and Ed Walker both had two winners at the Dante Festival.
  • Sir Michael Stoute is the most successful Dante Stakes trainer this century with four winners and he has won the race six times in all, one shy of the record held by Sir Henry Cecil. Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have won it three times and Mark Johnston twice.

Best performances at the Dante Festival

Sorted by Timeform performance ratings over the past five years

  • Harry Angel (131) – 2018 Duke of York Stakes WON
  • Stradivarius (125) – WON Yorkshire Cup 2018
  • Taskleet (123) – 2017 Duke of York Stakes WON
  • Stradivarius (122) – WON Yorkshire Cup 2019
  • Desert horizon (121) – Second in the Yorkshire Cup 2018
  • Telecaster (121) – 2019 Dante Stakes WON
  • First eleven (121) – Jorvik Handicap 2019 WON
  • Spanish Mission (121) – WON Yorkshire Cup 2021

Top sprinter Harry Angel put in the best showing at the Dante Festival in the last five years by winning the 2018 Duke of York Stakes under a Group 1 penalty. The previous year’s winner Tasleet also places very well after beating former winner Magical Memory by two and a half lengths.

Stradivarius clinched odds by three lengths in his maiden Yorkshire Cup (runner-up Desert Skyline ran well against a daunting task conceding weight) in 2018 and followed that up with a penalty a year later. He is bidding to win the race for a third time on Friday and has an unbeaten York record, having won his third Lonsdale Cup at the Ebor Festival last year. Spanish Mission, winners of the 2021 Yorkshire Cup, also challenged for a penalty.

Telecaster is the highest rated Dante winner of the last five years having beaten the previous season’s champion, two-year-old Too Darn Hot, in 2019, while in the same year First Eleven achieved one of the best handicap performance of the whole season by winning. the mile and a half Jorvik Handicap under 9-9.

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