We’re on to the final day of the Dante Festival at York and another action-packed card is on the card in front of the ITV cameras.

Here are Nick Luck’s fancies on the Knavesmire.


NYMPHADORA can run a big race in the Listed Marygate Stakes that opens up the final day of York’s Dante Festival (1.40pm) at 9/1. Behind a couple of these in Desert Dreamer’s Newmarket race (a golden formline and sparkling on the clock, too), she arguably shaped with as much promise as any of the beaten fillies. Andrew Balding has done exceptionally well with another daughter of this sire, Alcohol Free, and he might have a smart one on his hands here.

LOVE IS YOU represents a little value at 10/3 against favourite Snow Lantern in the Michael Seely Memorial (2.10pm). Don’t get me wrong, I loved Snow Lantern at Newbury and think that she is out of the top drawer, but Love Is You shaped really well in the Nell Gwyn, travelling beautifully before not handling either the firm ground or the undulations. She has neither to worry about here, and can run a huge race en route to Royal Ascot.

BLUE CUP is not an original choice at 5/2 for the 10-furlong handicap (2.40pm) but is nonetheless the likeliest winner. He made stealthy progress through last season after switching to the outstanding David Menuisier, but appeared to take another sizeable leap forward at Epsom on his reappearance, leaving not a single eye uncaught. Sadly, that means he won’t be much of a price, but he should really appreciate underfoot conditions and this looks like a good opportunity with the yard in form.

SIR RON PRIESTLEY (6/4) has stormed back to action after a season in the wilderness, and he can continue his progress by winning a small field Yorkshire Cup (3.10pm). It was no mean effort to thump Pyledriver over shorter at Newmarket last time, a line through Ocean Wind suggests he could have the beating of stablemate Nayef Road, and although better can be expected of Santiago from his seasonal debut, he still has to raise his game a little to match Sir Ron Priestley’s best.

MOLLS MEMORY is an each-way bet at 10/1 in the seven-furlong handicap (3.40pm). Admittedly, this is quite a spicy race for the grade, but the selection has had to race against far superior opposition for much of the last two years. The handicapper has now given her a chance and she will find this company much easier, while appreciating the slightly softer ground.

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