Timeform UK SmartPlays: Thursday, May 18
So Mi Dar was an impressive winner of the Musidora Stakes at this meeting last year and was a general second favourite for the Oaks after until injury ruled her out. She lost her unbeaten record in the Prix de l'Opera at Chantilly in October, but this rangy, rather unfurnished filly promises to make an even better four-year-old, and she is a confident selection to make a winning return. Queens Trust often came up short at this highest level last season, but she got her due reward when winning the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita on her final start, and she is sure to make her presence felt.
John Gosden has won the last two renewals of the Dante, including with Golden Horn, who went on the win the Derby in 2015, and Cracksman has a live chance of repeating the feat for the same connections. The son of Frankel is unbeaten in two starts, and deserves extra credit for winning the Epsom Derby Trial last time, conceding first run to a more experience race-fit rival, but responding really well to pressure to narrowly prevail. He seems sure to do better still, and though likely soft ground is an unknown, he is a very exciting prospect and is fancied to come out on top again. The well-related Crystal Ocean has come in for support for both this race and the Derby in the last week or so, and is another to take seriously.
Brian The Snail won both his starts at two and was privately purchased by Godolphin during the off-season. He made the perfect start for his powerful owners when winning a handicap at Pontefract last month, making a mockery of his opening mark, unextended to complete the job, and recording a smart time, too. Everything has come fairly easily to him so far, and he has all the makings of a smart sprinter, so he is expected to extend his winning run on his way to even better things. Last year's Windsor Castle and Flying Childers winner Ardad is also respected, while the powerfully-built Jumira Bridge looks sure to progress further, too.
Timeform UK SmartPlays
(All from York)
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