Rain a concern as Duke Of Firenze bids for an encore
Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Handicap | Class 2 | 4yo+ | 5f | ITV4/RUK
Dante day kicks off with a fast and furious 17-runner 5f sprint as Duke Of Firenze bids to land the contest for the second year running.
The David Griffiths-trained eight-year-old landed the prize off a 13lb lower weight 12 months ago and carries top weight of 9st 7lb this time. He was last seen finishing a staying-on fourth behind Judicial in a 5f conditions stakes at Chester last week.
His six victories have been scored on a variety of surfaces, including soft which the York ground was described as on Wednesday.
Monsieur Joe won this race in 2014 at 25-1 for Yorkshire trainer Paul Midgley, who has three representatives this time – Gamesome, Line Of Reason and Orient Class.
What they say
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Mont Kiara and Fast Act
He's had a couple of runs this year and the form of his last run is pretty solid. The 5f trip should suit him and Harry Bentley has a good partnership with him. He should be fine if the ground is soft and he's obviously bred to handle that going. Fast Act goes well fresh and really bounced back to form last year which was great to see. It's his first run of the season but he's got a low weight which should help him.
Michael Appleby, trainer of Poyle Vinnie
Hopefully he'll run well and the ground has definitely come in his favour. He reared up in the stalls last time and missed the break. He's in good order.
Tony Coyle, trainer of Snap Shots
He's in good form but I'm pretty sure he'll need the run. He'll handle the ground as he's won on soft.
David Griffiths, trainer of Duke Of Firenze
He needed his first couple of runs of the season like he always does but he ran a cracker at Chester despite being unlucky. I think he'd have won had he got the gaps in time. He's come out of that race really well but there's a slight concern with all this rain we're having. He's won on soft ground before and run well on good to soft – he can act on it but it's a shame we had it. He won this race last year off a lower mark but I think he can be very competitive and he has a chance.