Hurricane Lane
Hurricane Lane © Post Photo

Hurricane Lane on top in the Dante

Frankel colt Hurricane Lane maintained his unbeaten record with a win in the Gr.2 Dante Stakes at York yesterday (13th May).

Taken from the, 13th May 2021, by David Carr:

The Godolphin colt made it three from three with a gutsy staying performance in the Gr.2 Dante Stakes under William Buick and is quoted at 6-1 generally (from 20) for the Derby at Epsom on 5th June.

High Definition, who once was favourite for the Classic, is ahead of him in the betting but drifted out to 9-2 after suffering his first defeat. The Derby's hot ante-post favourite Bolshoi Ballet became even hotter, down to 5-4 while resting up at Ballydoyle.

His stablemate High Definition kept on for third but not nearly as effectively as Hurricane Lane, who rallied inside the final furlong to head long-time leader Roman Empire – whose jockey Hollie Doyle produced a highly enterprising ride on her debut for Ballydoyle – and just hold off Megallan.

Buick, who won the 2018 Derby with Masar, said: "The Dante is always a good trial and this year it had plenty of quality – there's not often a Group 1 winner from the previous year in it. This horse should improve stepping up to a mile and a half and will stay. He does everything right. He went through the gears and when he got company he battled back, which he did at Newbury last time."

He continued: "He's gone from strength to strength and has taken every run very well – he's got a really good mind. I can't really see what more you could ask of him, he's answered every single call."

Buick, who also won the Dante in 2015 aboard Derby winner Golden Horn, added: "He won this on his third start and they have similar profiles – if he can do what Golden Horn did I'd be very happy. He'll have to step up again. We all know that and it's never an easy task, but at least he's got the experience and he'll get the trip. He was well on top at the line – it was a good performance."

Hurricane Lane, who got off the mark at Newmarket last year, beat Dee Stakes runner-up Maximal at Newbury on his first start this season and Charlie Appleby was sure he was ripe for this challenge. "On the bare form of our horses ahead of the trials, we felt this horse had the best form of the four of them," said the trainer. "He beat Maximal at Newbury and Maximal ran well at Chester so we were confident Hurricane Lane was the right one to go to the Dante."

Masar's trainer is keen on another tilt at the Derby, and said: "He's got a great temperament for a big horse and a good mover. It was lovely ground and he's jumped and travelled well and stayed well. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed was pleased, so as long as the horse comes out of it fit and well that is the obvious place to go."

Runner-up Megallan (Kingman) will head to Chantilly rather than Epsom, and his trainer John Gosden said: "He was here on a trial for the Prix du Jockey Club and all being well that's where he'll go. He's run a lovely race, that is his trip. The ground was a touch dead for him, he's got a better turn of foot on quicker ground."

Gosden, who has won the Dante three times since 2015, believes this year's race was well up to scratch, and added: "I've always liked the winner. William told me on the plane back from Chester that they thought a lot of him. I think the two best trials were the Derrinstown and the Dante."