Turf Talk: Smart money on Kentuckyconnection for the Dante – but only if the going’s good enough

Trainer Bryan Smart  with Kentuckyconnection.
Trainer Bryan Smart with Kentuckyconnection.
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The Betfred Dante at York on May 12 could be the next stopping point for Kentuckyconnection should ground conditions be in his favour.

Hambleton trainer Bryan Smart is considering stepping the three-year-old back up to a mile and a quarter for a shot at the Group Two prize after an impressive display in the 2000 Guineas.

Although sent of the 100-1 outsider for the mile Classic at Newmarket on Saturday, the son of Include stayed on powerfully in the closing stages to finish fifth.

Smart said: “It was a very good run. We went there expecting that sort of run, even though he was one of the outsiders. He galloped all the way to the line and I think we would look at the Dante. It just depends on the ground as he has got to have good ground.

“He is American bred and he wants fast ground. That was the quickest ground he has had since he won at Redcar first time out.

“I think he will get a mile and a quarter on quick ground as if you look through his pedigree he is bred to stay that sort of trip. He looks a nice horse to have and I think there could be a good prize in him.”

The Chester May meeting starts tomorrow and ante-post favourite Steve Rogers will start from stall three in the Betway Chester Cup, for which 17 horses have been declared.

Roger Varian’s charge has already shown he can handle the unique Roodee track with victory there over two miles last September before going on to finish a creditable ninth in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

The five-year-old warmed up for this assignment with victory at Kempton last month and he will be partnered by Andrea Atzeni as he starts from a favoured low draw. Gordon Elliott’s Eshtiaal had been popular in the ante-post exchanges but he did not make the cut.

Somehow will also attempt to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a fifth victory in the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks.

Sobot’s Selections

WETHERBY: 5.30 Morning Herald, 6.00 Chase The Wind, 6.30 Young Dillon, 7.00 Coozan George, 7.30 Captain Mowbray, 8.00 Klepht, 8.30 Christmas Twenty.

CHESTER: 2.10 Fiery Character, 2.40 Somehow (next best), 3.10 STEVE ROGERS (NAP), 3.45 Growl, 4.20 Maljaa, 4.55 Mulk (treble), 5.25 Red Verdon.

KELSO: 2.20 Dr Beaujolais, 2.50 Always On The Run, 3.25 Bassarabad, 4.00 Foot The Bill, 4.35 Carinena, 5.05 New Vic, 5.35 Glingerside.

NEWTON ABBOT: 2.00 Black Corton, 2.30 Abidjan, 3.00 Rejaah, 3.35 Voix D’Eau, 4.10 Oskar’s Eva, 4.45 Port Melon, 5.15 Changing The Guard.

CHELMSFORD: 5.45 Crosse Fire, 6.15 Elis Eliz, 6.45 Shaan, 7.15 Both Sides, 7.45 Grey’s Angel, 8.15 Amour De Nuit, 8.45 Top Boy.

Might Bite wins the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April.

Henderson: Ground is key for Bite