Five things we learnt on the first day of the Dante meeting

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Wed 17 May 2017

Andy Stephens picks out five things that we learnt on a soggy opening day of the Datnte meeting at York

By Andy Stephens

Palmer fancies Oaks bid with Vintage Folly:

John Gosden chalked up his sixth success in the Musidora Stakes with the unbeaten Shutter Speed and then promptly ruled her out of the Investec Oaks - despite some bookmakers quoting her at 2-1.

Gosden said that his filly had hated the soft ground and that her class had pulled her through. He will point her to the French Oaks in a month, with Enable and Coronet representing the stable at Epsom.

Shutter Speed is favourite for the French Classic at 2-1 with Ladbrokes and 6-4 with Betfair and Paddy Power.

By contrast, Hugo Palmer is keen to run the runner-up, Vintage Folly, in the Oaks if the ground is similarly testing. She was cut to 25-1 by some firms but remains 40-1 in places.

Palmer thought she might have given the winner even more to think about had the pace been greater - the winning time was almost 12sec outside standard - and added: “I came here today hoping she could finish third and am going home disappointed she has finished second.”

Palmer believes it will be a case of the further the better for Vintage Folly and is hoping she might even develop into a St Leger contender.

Tasleet making up for lost time:

Tasleet has had little racing since landing a valuable sales’ contest at York two years ago but his emphatic victory in the Duke of York Stakes shows he could be a player in this year’s leading sprints.

The four-year-old colt surged ahead late on under Jim Crowley and clearly relished the rain-softened going, much to the surprise of trainer William Haggas who said afterwards: “For three years I’d seen him as a fast-ground horse.”

Haggas had no hesitation in nominating next month’s Diamond Jubilee for his next start but a tilt at the Darley July Cup the following month seems unlikely because Tasleet apparently does not enjoy the demands of the track.

Magical Memory, the runner-up, ran encouragingly on his return and The Tin Man, fifth, was not disgraced under his penalty but Brando, the favourite, stopped quickly after travelling strongly and trailed home a distant last. It was later reported that he had bled.

Battered bruises his rivals:

Haggas has his team in fine form and will have taken a huge amount of pleasure from the win of Battered, owned by his father Brian, in the 7f handicap.

It looked an unlikely win at halfway as Battered stumbled leaving the stalls and was well back in the first half of the contest. However, he came home strongly under Ryan Moore and, despite running green and colliding with the runner-up, won with plenty to spare.

A mile seems certain to suit and it is not difficult to imagine him turning up in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot next month. If he does, you would imagine he might be equipped with some headgear as his trainer described him as “gormless”.

It is refreshing when horses are owned by a family member - then you can say exactly what you think about them.

Santry shines for Declan Carroll:

Several of the newcomers were talked up before the juvenile race on the card and looked the part, but the well-backed Santry, who won a division of the Brocklesby last month, gave them 6lb and a commanding beating.

He looks more than just a sharp, early-season sort and deserves a crack at one of the three races for two-year-olds at Royal Ascot next month.

Given how long it took Jim Crowley to pull him up, a step up to six furlongs for the Coventry Stakes would not inconvenience him but Declan Carroll, the trainer, is leaning towards the Norfolk Stakes.

Santry has yet to encounter fast ground but Carroll reckons his youngster will be at home on good going.

Carpenter gets job done:

Rod Millman has one more runner at York over the next two days - Daddies Girl in a race for two-year-olds on Friday. She is likely to start at a double-figure price but do not let that put you off her.

If you had placed a £10 bet on all of Milman’s runners this season you would be about £1,300 in profit and those who backed his Master Carpenter in the opening handicap never had a moment’s concern.

It was clear from three furlongs out that the six-year-old was going to exploit a sliding mark and snap a 16-race losing sequence. He won by five lengths easing up.

Master Carpenter has no forthcoming entries but it will be a surprise if he does not return to York for the John Smith's Cup in July. He won the race off a rating of 104 two years ago and will be back on something like that after winning off 95 on this occasion.

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