Camelot, a red hot Investec Derby Favourite with Betfair, was one of 76 entries at the first declaration stage for the Group 2 Totepool Dante Stakes at York on May 17. The event is one of the key trials for the blue riband contest at Epsom, three weeks later, writes Elliot Slater.
The unbeaten Aidan O’Brien-trained colt, one of more than two dozen entries in the race for the Ballydoyle maestro, is a best priced 5/2 market leader for the mile-and-a-half colts classic, having set the racing world alight with a scintillating performance on his second and final outing as a juvenile. He coasted to victory without turning a hair in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, last October, a contest that has a fine recent record of throwing up the following year’s Derby winner.
Reported to have wintered well, Camelot had been expected to take his chance in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5, (for which he is also a warm favourite). However, comments from O’Brien at a recent press conference have given rise to slight doubts that the son of Galileo will be ready in time to run on the Rowley Mile.
Other names worthy of note amongst a high quality entry for the Dante Stakes include Richard Hannon’s Crius, an impressive winner in Group 3 company on his final outing last season, and John Gosden’s Fencing, third to Camelot at Doncaster.
Joining them will be Godolphin’s Mandaean, winner of the Group 1 Criterium de Saint Cloud at the very end of last term, Frankel’s half-brother, Noble Mission, trained like the superstar miler by Sir Henry Cecil, and a promising runner-up at Yarmouth, last October, on his racecourse bow.
Finally, last season’s Group 2 Champagne stakes winner, Trumpet Major, another horse likely to do well this term for British champion trainer, Richard Hannon, will be in attendance. Looking forward, you can begin your preparations for the Derby Stakes by checking out the Epsom Derby betting odds.