Confirmed runners and riders for Thursday's Dante Stakes at York
High Definition has been declared for Thursday's Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (3.10) at York, and will face ten rivals in a stacked trial for next month's Cazoo Derby.
Aidan O'Brien unearthed one Derby gem on Sunday when Bolshoi Ballet was made 7-4 favourite for the Classic on June 5 after his impressive six-length win in Leopardstown's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, but High Definition has always been highly touted with Epsom in mind and the Group 2 Dante will offer him the chance to enhance those claims.
The unbeaten Beresford Stakes winner was scheduled to make his reappearance in the Lingfield Derby Trial last weekend, but was ruled out after showing high levels of Serum Amyloid A (SAA) in a blood test last week, considered a sign of inflammation or infection.
However, nothing came to light leaving O'Brien happy to declare him for the Dante, a race the Ballydoyle trainer has won four times, most recently with Cape Blanco in 2010.
Speaking on Tuesday, O'Brien said: "We were happy with High Definition's bloods yesterday evening and, at the moment, he's a runner in the Dante.
"We took more samples this morning and we will have the results of them this evening, but the ones yesterday were much improved. We've been happy with his work over the last few mornings."
Golden Horn was the last Dante winner to go on and win the Derby, and those same connections are represented by Megallan, although John and Thady Gosden's number one rider Frankie Dettori will instead ride Uncle Bryn, with Martin Harley partnering Megallan.
Roger Varian has already won two Derby trials this term with El Drama and Third Realm, and relies upon Royal Champion, while the unbeaten Hurricane Lane (Charlie Appleby), Sandown's Classic Trial winner Alenquer and Criterium de Saint-Cloud victor Gear Up are also among the runners.
In addition to High Definition O'Brien has declared Roman Empire, partnered by Hollie Doyle on her first ride for the yard, while the Jim Bolger-trained Flying Visit, second to Bolshoi Ballet in the Ballysax, will also make the journey to Yorkshire from Ireland, with Belloccio (David Menuisier) and Pythagoras (Richard Fahey) completing the line up.
The Ed Dunlop-trained John Leeper, a son of Frankel out of 2010 Oaks winner Snow Fairy, was not declared for the Dante with the trainer preferring to wait for the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
Dunlop said: "We had always wanted to run John Leeper in the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday as first preference but we were worried about the ground which is why we also had him in at York.
"Michael Prosser [clerk of the course at Newmarket] says they've had 27mm on the Rowley Mile in the last few days with further showers around, so the plan is to stay closer to home."
Six runners have been declared for the Group 2 Middleton Fillies' Stakes (2.10) including Queen Power, the O'Brien-trained Passion and Silence Please for Jessica Harrington.
Dante Stakes runners and riders
1 Alenquer Tom Marquand
2 Belloccio David Egan
3 Flying Visit Kevin Manning
4 Gear Up Ben Curtis
5 High Definition Ryan Moore
6 Hurricane Lane William Buick
7 Megallan Martin Harley
8 Pythagoras Paul Hanagan
9 Roman Empire Hollie Doyle
10 Royal Champion Andrea Atzeni
11 Uncle Bryn Frankie Dettori
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