By Simon Jackson.
Jack Hobbs is set to test his credentials as a leading hope for the Investec Derby when he contests the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.
The John Gosden-trained colt is unbeaten in two starts and looked mighty impressive when scoring by 12 lengths in a 10 furlong Class 3 at Sandown last month.
The son of Halling had been heavily supported all day and justified market confidence at the Esher racetrack where he raced close to the pace before bursting clear a furlong out to win, eased down, for Frankie Dettori.
Gosden revealed after the victory that the Dante was an option, and the colt has since been installed as the 2-1 market leader for the race by sponsors Betfred.
Speaking to the Guardian immediately after the Sandown win, Gosden said: “He might be ready for a trial now. You see why he’s only run once, in December, big rangy boy.
“He’s a lovely, progressive horse and we’ll see where he goes from here. I did put him in the Dante so that is an option. He’s a well balanced horse, so we’ll see. He’s a nice type of horse to have.”
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said today (Friday), as the prices for the extended 10 furlong Dante were revealed: “It looks a top notch renewal of the Betfred Dante Stakes. This race can make or break Derby dreams and it will be the acid test of Jack Hobbs’ classic credentials.”
Betfred Dante Stakes – sponsors bet: 2 Jack Hobbs, 7/2 Elm Park, John F Kennedy, 5 Golden Horn, 6 Ol’ Man River, 8 Giovanni Canaletto, 10 Aloft, Nafaqa, 25 Decorated Knight, 33 Jinsha Lake, 50 Lord Ben Stack. (Not quoted – Disegno, Highland Reel, Medrano, Order Of St George).
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