Don’t treat the Dante as gospel: At 9-2 he’s still the one to beat in the Derby

Epsom Racecourse

One of the biggest keys to punting is not to overreact. We all want to see the next stars and in the same way that so often we overestimate what a horse has achieved, we are also guilty of writing horses off after just a single run. It’s not always the case but that is generally a mistake.

High Definition is one who would be dangerous to dismiss off the back of his third placed finish in the Dante at York. Taken out of an assignment at Lingfield at the weekend, he didn’t feature in our horse racing tips today but Epsom could be a different story. 9/2 still looks a price with plenty of juice in at this stage with bet365.


Juvenile Campaign

Unbeaten in a pair of starts as a two-year-old, High Definition always looked like he would improve with age. He came from out the clouds in both wins at the Curragh last season, including when winning the Group 2 Beresford Stakes.

The majority of his family have been milers but he was started over that trip. That has always suggested that connections see him as at least a middle distance performer in the making. His run style when winning his first two starts certainly confirmed that impression that he is all about stamina.


The Dante

Given that he was taken out of a race just last week as his bloods weren’t right, it was a huge run to finish third in the Dante. The first two home had already raced this season so had blown away any cobwebs. This was a ten furlong test and in a similar vein to his juvenile form, he did all his best work late in the day.

There is no reason to think that that contest isn’t strong form. A solid pace was set with a Group 1 winner back in fifth, another who was making his seasonal debut. That sets the level with the 2021 Dante looking all over the excellent Classic trial that we expect of it.


The Derby and the future

Epsom is a funny beast, a long climb uphill, a sharp come down and a long straight that runs away to the far rail. It is not a track that suits all horses but The Derby has been a target for High Definition almost since day 1. He is going to have to travel better than he has in the past when coming down the hill but he looks nailed on to be a different horse up in trip.

It could be that we don’t see the very best of him until he tries fourteen furlongs in the St Leger in September, that big gallop from the turn in there looks perfect. It is a long way home from Tattenham Corner though and it would be absolutely no surprise to see High Definition claim the Derby in just three and a half weeks time.


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