Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dettori to Silence Opponents

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dettori to Silence Opponents

Article excerpt


OFTEN the best Derby trial in terms of quality of entries, York's Convergent Communications Dante Stakes can leave as many questions unanswered as resolved. It's two furlongs shy of the full Classic trip and staged on a track blissfully uncomplicated compared with Epsom.

So the winner of tomorrow's renewal may still have points to prove.

Whereas narrow Feilden Stakes winner, the John Dunlop-trained Olden Times, may not get much further than this 10-furlong trip, last year's Racing Post Trophy hero, Dilshaan, and perhaps even Epsom Derby Trial victor, Storming Home, would appreciate further. The Roger Charlton-trained Aldwych and Dunlop's other string, Rosi's Boy, strike as types adaptable to both distances.

But Godolphin's Celtic Silence looks ideally suited by these conditions.

A big horse and a powerful galloper, York is the perfect foil for his talents. He has much to prove but, despite his size, had class enough to win at Royal Ascot last June. His then trainer, Mark Johnston, made no secret of the high regard with which he held him and his new owners heeded his advice that the colt would need time. He didn't race again as a juvenile.

His reappearance on the dirt of Nad Al Sheba was promising. Granted, stable-mate Inchlonaig was likewise fourth in the UAE Derby last year and his season came to nothing, but Celtic Silence will appreciate a less tight track and reverting to turf. Light showers today should keep the ground nearer good than the current official description. Jockey Frankie Dettori rides this course well and has been delivering some fine tactical performances.

Aldwych is the danger. He beat When In Rome (who failed to handle the downhill finish when third to Perfect Sunday in last Saturday's Lingfield Derby Trial) with rather more in hand than the three-quarter-length margin would suggest at Bath earlier this month. …

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