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Horse Racing - York: Dante Festival Preview

The Dante Festival at York is the opportunity for more Epsom contenders to shine ahead of a shot at the British Classics next month.

The festival also includes the Yorkshire Cup, one of the highlights of the season in the stayers' division and, in total, there are 21 races spread out over the three-day meeting.

Here's our look ahead to the Dante Festival, when all the action will be available on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Desert Crown looking to showcase Derby claims

The Dante Stakes is recognised as one of the leading trials for the Derby at Epsom. Sir Michael Stoute has opted to use the race for Desert Crown's seasonal reappearance after he was very impressive in his sole start last season at Nottingham (1m½f).

In total, 10 horses have won the Dante and then gone on to prevail in the Derby, including Benny The Dip, Authorized and Golden Horn. Stoute will be hoping his Nathaniel colt can add his name to that list this year.

The 10-time Champion Trainer has won the Derby five times but his last success was back in 2010 with Workforce. This latest colt looks set to give the legendary trainer a solid chance of prevailing once again at Epsom and Desert Crown is the 7/4 favourite to win the race.

He is set to meet 11/4 Magisterial from John and Thady Gosden's yard.

Desert Crown can be backed at 6/1 for the Derby, behind Stone Age and Changingofthegaurd, who are 5/2 and 9/2 respectively, but an impressive display at York could see Stoute's runner jump to the top of the ante-post market for Epsom.

Another chance to see talented Emily Upjohn

It is not often that Frankie Dettori gets off a horse and is really taken by its performance, but that was the case at Sandown last month when Emily Upjohn prevailed by just over nine lengths in a novice contest for fillies.

The daughter of Sea The Stars travelled strongly throughout the race at the Esher racecourse, and when asked by Dettori to quicken, she found an extra gear, stretching away from her rivals.

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The Group Three Musidora Stakes is obviously a step up in class for the filly, but she is 5/6 to continue her unbeaten start to her career. She will face just four other runners, including 9/4 Life Of Dreams, who scored on her debut at the Craven Meeting.

Seven horses have won the Musidora Stakes and then gone on to score at Epsom in the Oaks a month later. Snowfall won this race 12 months ago before blowing her rivals away in the British Classic and Emily Upjohn is the 4/1 second favourite in the latest Oaks betting, behind only the 7/2 market leader Tuesday.

Leading stayers set for fascinating Yorkshire Cup clash

The Yorkshire Cup on Friday has the makings of one of the Flat races of the season.

Trueshan, Stradivarius and Kyprios are all set to feature in the 2m2f contest, three of the leading stayers on the Flat in the UK and Ireland.

Trueshan has won his last four races on the track, including the Group One Goodwood Cup and Prix du Cadran. Alan King's runner has already appeared once so far this season when he made a winning start to his campaign in a Listed race at Nottingham.

The weather prior to York may prove important to Trueshan's chances of running at York after he was pulled out of the Ascot Gold Cup last year when the fast ground went against him. The talented Group One operator is the 7/4 favourite for the Yorkshire Cup, and he also tops the betting at 5/2 for the Ascot Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next month.

With three wins from five starts, Kyprios has shown a lot of promise to suggest he can be a big player in the stayers' division this season. Aidan O'Brien's colt scored in a Listed contest over 1m6f at Navan last month and this race will be a good marker in determining how he matches with the Trueshan and Stradivarius, two horses who have proved themselves at this level for a number of years.

Dragon Symbol returns in Duke Of York Stakes

One of the leading sprint races at the Dante Festival is the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes, run over 6f on Wednesday, when Dragon Symbol is set for his first outing of the season.

The four-year-old, who is 10/3 to win the race, finished first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in 2021 but he was later demoted to second place by the stewards for interference in the closing stages of that contest.

The son of Cable Bay is now in the hands of Roger Varian, after moving yards earlier this year. Connections of the talented sprinter will be hoping for a big run ahead of a possible shot at the King's Stand Stakes or Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Dragon Symbol will be taking on Minzaal at York, a horse who will be carrying the Shadwell silks. The course and distance winner finished third in the Group One British Champions Sprint last October and is 4/1 for victory on the opening day at York.

The four-year-old remains open to improvement, as he bids to win some of the leading 6f contests this season.

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