SIR Michael Stoute is “not getting carried away” ahead of Midterm’s much anticipated Derby trial in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York today.
A son of Galileo out of the brilliant racemare Midday, the three-year-old is certainly bred in the purple and made a winning reappearance in Sandown’s Classic Trial three weeks ago.
Ante-post favourite for the Epsom Derby on the back of this win, Stoute’s charge is favourite to extend his unbeaten record on the Knavesmire. However, Stoute, who has saddled five previous Derby winners, said: “Shahrastani and North Light won the Dante, but Workforce got beaten, he had an excuse, though. We’d welcome a sixth Derby, but we’re a long way from that. Of course there’s excitement, but we’re not getting carried away.”
Midterm carries the colours of Khalid Abdullah who won the Derby for a third time with Stoute’s Workforce in 2010. The owner’s racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: “He will need to come on and improve. It is going to be a good test for him.
“I’ve always considered it the definitive Derby trial. You only have to look back to last year to see how true that is with Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs. But you can go back a lot further – there is a list of illustrious winners of the Dante.”
John Gosden has twice completed the Dante and Derby double, first with 1997 victor Benny The Dip and then Golden Horn 12 months ago. This year he saddles the highly-rated Foundation and also Wings Of Desire who is the mount of Frankie Dettori as the jockey looks to add to his two big race successes yesterday.
Proud Yorkshireman William Haggas saddles Victory Bond, who bolted up at Ripon on his last appearance, while 2000 Guineas fifth Kentuckyconnection represents Hambleton-based Bryan Smart.