Dante’s Inferno… Website Up In Flames?

It's a complicated business, dear reader, is changing one's web host. And a business not without it's pitfalls, as I've learned this morning.

Being something of a techno-dunce at the best of times, I seriously underestimated the amount of faff involved, not to mention the scope for cock-ups.

Well, if you're reading this, then the job is done and the hosting switch is complete (in case you're wondering, I was with 1&1 which, while fine as a host has it's limitations from an SEO perspective. If that doesn't make sense, please don't worry about it!)

On with the show!

Flat racing's travelling summer circus is camped in the beautiful city of York for most of this week, for the Dante meeting. And the race that gives the meeting its title is today, and - wow! - what a race it is.

There isn't a horse in the field of ten that you could confidently rule out. Indeed, prior to my website jiggery-pokery, the outsider of the ten (Native Ruler) was showing as the third most popular choice to win the race on the newly installed Geegeez 'Question of the Week' (top right corner).

I have absolutely no idea who will win today, but I stand by my comment that the winner of the Derby is probably in this race. I mean, including the 2,000 Guineas, can there have been a better Derby trial than this so far this season?

I don't say that the winner of the Dante will win the Derby, though he might. But I do believe that one of the first three home will win the Derby. I suspect that some of the runners will still have a little bit of blubber on them, for their trainers to whittle prior to the first Saturday in June.

As you may know, I've backed Nehaam and Kite Wood for the Blue Riband, so am hoping for a good run from those two.

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My other fancy, a wild 220/1 outsider on Betfair, is Stately Home. He's due to run in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton tomorrow. Now I know that Hamilton is not exactly a hotbed of Classic winners, and that Listed race form doesn't readily compare with Group 2 form (i.e. the Dante), but at the odds, he's interesting.

If Stately Home makes it to Epsom for the Derby (and even that is still a substantial 'if'), he'll be about a 20/1 shot (imagine, a two from two Aidan O'Brien horse...). It might be value and it might be scrap paper, but I'm on now, so I'll be cheering accordingly.

York's card has a general look of impossibility for the punter today, but a couple of speculatives are as follows:

-          I'll be against Dar Re Mi at around 10/11. She's the best form in the book, but it's likely to be a tactical affair and - for my money - this lady has too many places and not enough wins to her name.

-          The Hambleton Stakes normally goes to a 4yo towards the bottom of the handicap, and I reckon Racing Post's verdict may have hit the nail on the head with Paul Cole's Moynahan. The other one I like in the race is Barry Hill's Wasan. I'll be having a small win bet on these two.

Over at Newmarket tonight, John Gosden is usually a man worth following. He has Twisted in the 6.50, and the 12/1 might look generous by seven o'clock. Once raced over 7f, he stayed on at the one speed behind stablemate, a certain Nehaam, fancied in the Dante this afternoon.

Finally, at Perth later, a chap I've never heard of before might be one to follow. Aidan Anthony Howard is his name, and he trains over in Ireland. He was VERY close to a massive double yesterday, when first The Ginger Man ambled home at 33/1, and then So Billiant cantered into the lead at 10/1, before finding nothing and finishing 2nd.

He has both Ushers Island, who also ran last night, and So Billiant entered again, but I imagine they won't start. But he's also got Rathrockscourt in the 4.10, and this could reward each way support.

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It's Thursday, so how about a spot of Thursday Fun? I received this from a friend, and I have to warn you there is some strong language in it. If that's likely to offend, please don't watch (and certainly don't watch it in the office!). But George Carlin appears to be a very funny man...

Matt

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