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Dante Stakes - Horse Racing: All You Need To Know

A new season at York gets underway with the Dante Festival taking place on the famous Knavesmire from 11th-13th May.

York is one of Britain's historic racecourses and it offers some quality meetings across the summer months. First up is the Dante Festival, three days of racing spearheaded by the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes and the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante, as well as the famous Yorkshire Cup.

When is the Dante Festival?

The Dante Festival is traditionally held in mid-late May and takes place from Wednesday 11th May until Friday 13th May in 2022.

Where is the Dante Festival?

The Dante Festival takes places at York Racecourse, one of Britain's best-loved tracks. York's Knavesmire track has existed since 1730 and almost 300 years on it continues to thrive. Left-handed, flat and wide, the track at York is viewed as being very fair to all competing horses.

The home straight is long and, therefore, jockeys face a sometimes agonising decision on when to commit their horse for home.

How can I watch the Dante Festival?

All three days of the Dante Festival from York will feature on ITV Racing for terrestrial viewers in Britain, while every race from the meeting can be viewed via our live sports streaming service.

When is the Dante itself?

The Dante is the feature race on day two of the meeting, Thursday 12th May, and will be going to post at 15:35 UK.

The Group 2 contest is a recognised trial for the Epsom Derby in June and is run over an extended mile-and-a-quarter journey at York, with a prize fund of £175,000 this year.

First run in 1958, jockey Pat Eddery (six wins) and trainer Sir Henry Cecil (seven wins) are the current record-holders in the Dante.

Ten winners of the race have achieved victory in the Epsom Derby subsequently. The first was St Paddy in 1960 for Lester Piggott and Noel Murless, and the most recent was Golden Horn in 2015 for William Buick and John Gosden (though Frankie Dettori was on board for the Epsom Classic afterwards as Buick was retained by Godolphin to ride Jack Hobbs).

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When is the Musidora Stakes?

Run over the same course and distance as the Dante, the Musidora Stakes is the feature race on day one at York, Wednesday 11th May, and takes places at 15:35 UK. The fillies-only Group 3 has a prize pool of £125,000 and is one of the key early-season trials for the Epsom Oaks in June.

Sir Henry Cecil's tally of nine wins remains unsurpassed, while Frankie Dettori and Steve Cauthen have ridden five winners each in the race named after Musidora, the Yorkshire-trained winner of the 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks in 1949.

There have been seven Musidora Stakes winners that went on to secure Classic glory in the Oaks at Epsom the following month.

The first was Noblesse in 1963 for Garnie Bougoure and Paddy Prendergast, and the most recent was Snowfall in 2021 for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien (though Frankie Dettori picked up the ride on Snowfall at Epsom, where she won by a record 16-lengths, as Moore sided instead with favourite Santa Barbara from the O'Brien team).

When is the Yorkshire Cup?

The Group 2 Yorkshire Cup headlines day three of the Dante Festival on Friday 13th May, with a scheduled off-time of 15:35 UK.

The race is run over a trip just shy of one-mile-and-six-furlongs and it is now the first event in the long-distance division of the British Champions Series, with further races at Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, York's Ebor Festival, Doncaster's St Leger Festival and on British Champions Day at Ascot following through the season.

The great stayer of the modern era, Stradivarius won the Yorkshire Cup in 2018 and 2019 for Frankie Dettori and John Gosden, while the most recent renewal in 2021 went the way of Spanish Mission for William Buick and Andrew Balding.

Alan King's Trueshan won the British Champions Long Distance Cup last season, defeating Stradivarius for the second time in a month, and could be the star name in the Yorkshire Cup this year after a winning comeback at Nottingham in April.

What other races stand out at the meeting?

Alongside the features, there are some quality races at York's Dante Festival.

Their leading two-year-old contest is the Listed Marygate Fillies' Stakes on Friday 13th May at 13:50 UK, a five-furlong dash across the York turf.

On day one, look out for the Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (15:00 UK), a three-year-old contest for sprinters over six-furlongs with a pot of £140,000.

And on the middle afternoon, before the Dante, there is the Middleton Fillies' Stakes over the same course and distance, the £140,000 contest being open to fillies aged four-years and older.

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