show me:

Ancient Wisdom to face six rivals in Dante Stakes but Appleby hoping to see conditions ease

3 minute read

Charlie Appleby’s Epsom Derby contender Ancient Wisdom looks set to face six rivals in the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.

ANCIENT WISDOM. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The Charlie Appleby-trained contender saw the form of his Autumn Stakes romp boosted when Ambiente Friendly, who finished back in third at Newmarket, emphatically landed the Lingfield Derby Trial over the weekend. Ancient Wisdom rounded off his two-year-old campaign with a cosy success in the Group 1 Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster and the current 8/1 Epsom Derby candidate will be a warm order on his seasonal reappearance under William Buick at York on Thursday.

However, trainer Charlie Appleby revealed he does hope to see conditions ease for Ancient Wisdom ahead of his reappearance.

He said on "Ancient Wisdom has enjoyed a good preparation and stepping up to an extended mile and a quarter is going to suit. The ground will be a question mark and we will want the rain to come.

"We know that he is a better horse with ease in the ground, so we will be on weather watch slightly. If it's on the easy side of good, then we will look forward to seeing him run.

"He has wintered well, and we are very happy with him."

Standing in his way will be Roger Varian's Al Musmak, who bypassed a tilt at the 2000 Guineas earlier in the month in favour of testing his credentials over middle distances.

William Haggas' Economics looked like a smart prospect when winning a Newbury maiden on his second outing and he will be joined by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Cambridge, who is the sole contender for team Ballydoyle as they bid to land the Group 2 prize for the first time since 2010.

John and Thady Gosden's God's Window is turned out quickly after finishing a disappointing last of four in the Dee Stakes at Chester recently. Owen Burrows' War Rooms and the Karl Burke-trained Caviar Heights complete the strong field of seven.

The Group 2 Middleton Fillies' Stakes has attracted a field of six, with John and Thady Gosden's defending champion Free Wind set to take on in-form Ralph Beckett's Bluestocking, who makes her first outing since finishing a neck runner-up in the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot in October.

Charlie Appleby's progressive Sapphire Seas returns to home soil after finishing second in Group 2 company at Meydan in February, while Infinite Cosmos will be joined by both Oaks third Caernarfon and Novus to complete the sextet.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint hero Big Evs will make his eagerly awaited return to action in the five-furlong Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes.

Racing and Sports

What’s gambling really costing you?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit