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Easterby’s course specialist to race against the big guns

Tim Easterby's Wells Farhh Go in winning form at York last season.
Tim Easterby's Wells Farhh Go in winning form at York last season.
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TIM Easterby’s course specialist Wells Farhh Go is among 15 
confirmations for next Thursday’s Betfred Dante Stakes at York.

The three-year-old, trained at Great Habton, was unbeaten in two starts on the Knavesmire last season and would be a hugely popular winner if he can complete the hat-trick at York’s season-opening fixture.

He is set to be taken on by the powerful Ballydoyle and Godolphin operations, with both well represented at the six-day stage for this pivotal Epsom Derby trial.

Aidan O’Brien has four remaining contenders in Full Moon, James Cook, Kew Gardens and Zabriskie in the mix.

Charlie Appleby could saddle Autumn Stakes winner Ghaiyyath and/or the unbeaten Nordic Lights.

Other hopefuls include the John Gosden-trained pair of Crossed Baton and Roaring Lion as well as Mildenberger from the yard of Middleham trainer Mark Johnston.

There are nine fillies and mares in the Betfred Middleton Stakes on the same afternoon.

Gosden’s Coronet sets the standard having run well at the very highest level on numerous occasions last season.

She could be taken on by Henry Candy’s Chain Of Daisies and Star Rock from Hughie Morrison’s yard among others.

Meanwhile Brando could represent Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan in next Wednesday’s Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes, the day one highlight of the Dante festival.

Ryan has a fine record in the six-furlong Group Two contest, having won it with Tiddlywinks in 2012 and Amadeus Wolf in 2007.

Owned by Angie Bailey amd her partner Pete Tingey who runs a Barnsley taxi business, Brando got his 2018 campaign off to the best possible start with an authoritative success at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting.

A return to York – where he has twice finished second but is yet to win – was named as the six-year-old’s next assignment.

“Brando is in great form,” said Ryan.

“We were very pleased with his return at Newmarket. It was a great start to the season and hopefully he can go on.

“He has been training well and we are very happy with him.”

Brando, who won the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville last August, is one of five individual Group One winners entered in the race.