All eyes will be on York this week as their three-day Dante Festival gets underway. The feature race of the meeting is Thursday’s Dante Stakes. The Group 2 contest is run over 1 mile and 2 furlongs and this year offers the winner £93,000 in prize money. The Dante is widely regarded as the top Derby trial, regularly attracting a superior field compared to other trials in both the UK and Ireland.
Since 2000, four horses have been successful in completing the Dante and Derby double and we take a closer look at all four below. Can this year’s Dante winner add his name this list of top-class horses?
4 horses who won the Dante and Derby double
North Light (2004)
North Light enjoyed a low-key two-year-old career, running twice and sealing victory in a Goodwood maiden in September 2003. He arrived at York as a 6/1 fancy for the Dante but put in an eye-catching run as he saw off Rule of Law and Let The Lion Roar to burst onto the Derby betting scene.
Come Derby day, North Light was sent off the 7/2 joint-favourite, aided by the late withdrawal of the Aidan O’Brien trained Yeats.
Under Kieren Fallon, North Light’s stamina won the day and he powered home up the Epsom straight to land the Derby in the then fourth-fastest time ever. Like Motivator, the Derby was to be North Light’s final career win and he was retired in 2005 due to a pelvic injury.
Motivator arrived at York in 2005 on the back of two wins from two runs – including the Racing Post Trophy – and having swerved a crack at the 2000 Guineas.
Bypassing Newmarket looked a shrewd move come Dante day, as Motivator stayed on well up the straight at the Knavesmire to run out a one-and-a-half length winner.
Following his triumph in the Dante, success at Epsom followed in even finer style, with Motivator landing the Derby by five lengths to give Irish jockey Johnny Murtagh his third win in the race.
Epsom victory was to be Motivator’s final career win and he was retired to stud where he has enjoyed notable success, including siring Treve who won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2013 and 2014.
Having lifted the Racing Post Trophy in 2006, Authorized made his seasonal reappearance in the 2007 Dante and he cruised to a four-length victory, justifying his odds of 10/11.
That victory at York saw him sent off the 5/4 favourite at Epsom as he looked to give trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam his second Derby winner.
Under Franke Dettori, Authorized never looked in trouble and destroyed the Derby field by over five lengths – the biggest winning margin in the race since 1985.
Following that Epsom success, Authorized added a Juddmonte International win before being retired to stud having won four of his seven starts and amassing over £1.25million in total prize money
Golden Horn (2015)
Golden Horn was sent off at 4/1 in the 2015 Dante and produced a decisive turn of foot to see off stablemate Jack Hobbs.
Following that Dante success, Golden Horn was all the rage for the Derby and was eventually sent off the 13/8 favourite at Epsom.
A repeat of York was on the cards, as Golden Horn swooped late up the Epsom straight to once again see off Jack Hobbs and give jockey Frankie Dettori his second Derby success.
Following his Epsom victory, Golden Horn then went on to land the Eclipse, the Irish Champion Stakes, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before being retired to stud.
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