Racing: Stoute has another star sprinter in Arakan

There has been racing at York on and off since Roman times and on the Knavesmire, the expanse of common land just 20 minutes walk from the city centre, since 1731. Although nowadays the entertainment is confined to the track, time was when an afternoon's jollification would be prefaced by a hanging. Most notably, Dick Turpin met his end at the York Tyburn in 1739.

Those required to stand and deliver this week must do so in less harrowing circumstances than afforded to the highwayman's victims, but riches are at stake none the less as contenders for the Derby and Oaks put their aspirations on the line in the races commemorating two Yorkshire-trained Classic winners. Ten colts have been declared for tomorrow's 47th Dante Stakes, the 10-and-a-half furlong contest named after the 1945 Blue Riband hero, the last to return triumphant to God's own county. The Group Two race is one of the more successful pointers to events in Surrey next month, having produced six winners there, seven runners-up and six thirds.

Interestingly, although Dante winners meet varying fates in the real thing (witness the efforts of the last six: Magistretti, ninth; Moon Ballad third; Dilshaan seventh; Sakhee second; Salford Express 14th; and Saratoga Springs 10th) no horse has failed at York and gone on to win a Derby.

St Paddy, Shirley Heights, Shahrastani, Reference Point, Erhaab and Benny The Dip all did the double. None of the seven Derby entries running tomorrow is in the forefront of the betting; Andean and Let The Lion Roar, at around 25-1, are the highest on the lists.

Today's trial, though, the Musidora Stakes, features the three-year-old debut of the third favourite for the Oaks, Punctilious (2.30), who attracted further Epsom support yesterday. The daughter of Danehill was one of Sheikh Mohammed's head-hunts for Godolphin last year after she won for the second time and there was not much wrong either with her final outing at two, a third place to Red Bloom in the Fillies' Mile. Just in front of her that day, and in a private trial in Dubai last month, was her now-stablemate Sundrop, runner-up in the Guineas earlier this month and current Oaks favourite.

The Godolphin team has always maintained there is little between them and Punctilious, a half-sister to recent Sagaro Stakes winner Risk Seeker, will appreciate every yard of today's demanding but fair Group Three test round the wide, flat left-handed horseshoe with its sweeping turns and a daunting half-mile home straight. She has the right man in the saddle, too, should today's six-runner contest turn out to be tactical and, although she will not be a betting proposition for ordinary mortals, she is impossible to oppose, even though she is untested on easy ground. The one for the forecast should be the Sheikh's maroon-and-white colourbearer Glen Innes, sturdily-bred with Imagine and Generous as close relations.

Musidora won both the filly Classics in 1949 and in 43 runnings of 'her' race Noblesse, Bireme, Diminuendo, Snow Bride and Reams Of Verse won both it and the Oaks; Ambergris, Where You Lead, Moonlight Night, Last Feather, All At Sea, Hawajiss, Pure Grain, Bahr, Zahrat Dubai and Kalypso Katie won the first and finished in the frame in the second.

Of today's 15 runners in the meeting's feature sprint, the Duke of York Stakes, all bar two hold future Group 1 entries and this six-furlong contest, upgraded to Group 2 last year, is indeed often the first meaningful step on the way to discovering the identity of the year's champion flyer.

Sir Michael Stoute has not handled one such since Ajdal, but the way Arakan (3.00) responded to the experiment of dropping him back in distance at Newmarket last month means that omission may be about to be remedied. The son of Nureyev beat subsequent winner Frizzante extremely cosily and, despite third-placed Ashdown Express's 6lb pull this time, can continue his progress up the ranks.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Developer (ASP.NET, F#, SQL, MVC, Bootstrap, JavaScript)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?