Dubai: Hurricane Lane threw down a strong marker for next month’s Epsom Derby (Group 1) by displaying plenty of determination to win the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (G 2) at York Racecourse in the UK on Thursday.
The winner is trained by Charlie Appleby, who must surely now be harbouring hopes of winning a second Classic at Epsom after Masar in 2018,
With stable jockey William Buick riding a confident race aboard the smart son of the legendary Frankel, Hurricane Lane chased down the early leader Roman Empire to score by three quarters of a length from the closing Megallan, the mount of Martin Haley.
High Definition, the odds-on favourite, did not run up to expectations and had to settle for third place for four-time Dante winning trainer Aidan O’Brien.
British bookmakers Paddy Power slashed Hurricane Lane’s Derby odds to 6-1, pushing him up to fourth place in the ante-post market headed by 7-4 favourite Bolshoi Ballet. Thursday’s win completed a third straight success in as many starts for Hurricane Lane, following his Newmarket debut win as a two-year-old last and a battling victory over Maximal at Newbury on April 16.
Buick said: “I was very pleased, this is the most important trial. It looked like a strong renewal of the Dante and this race always throws up a Derby candidate.
“This horse is still learning on the job, he jumped out and we got ourselves a nice position where I could just leave him alone and build him up when I wanted to.
“It rode like a good race, for a trial it was a true-run race,” he added.
“I don’t what more you can ask of him. He’s answered every single call. He’ll have to step up again, but he’s got the experience now and he’ll get the mile and a half.”
Ten winners of the Dante have gone on to win the Derby, with the most recent being Golden Horn in in 2015.