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York Dante Festival 2023 Guide & Information

dante festival

The Dante Festival is a highly anticipated three-day horse racing event held each year at York Racecourse. The festival, which takes place in May, is named after the British Thoroughbred horse, Dante, who was the last horse trained in northern England to win the English Derby and is considered one of the most prestigious events in the UK racing calendar.

The York Dante Festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, including racing enthusiasts, socialites, and families looking for a fun day out. The three-day event is an opportunity for spectators to witness some of the most competitive races in the UK, including the Dante Stakes, which is a significant trial for the Epsom Derby.

As well as racing, visitors can expect a lively atmosphere, with live music, food and drink stalls and entertainment throughout the festival.

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Betting On The York Dante Festival

With races such as the Dante Stakes, the Musidora Stakes and the Yorkshire Cup taking place at the Dante Festival, it’s no surprise that millions of pounds worth of bets are placed across the three-day event.

Ante-post bets are popular with seasoned racing punters who have been following horses but you can also find value on the day if you shop around for the best odds.

The York Dante Festival is a huge event for the bookies and you’ll often find them offering price boosts and money back offers for several of the races.

Best Bookmakers For The Dante Festival

Thinking of having a bet on the Dante Festival? We’ve listed five bookmakers below that we consider the best choice for your bets. They all offer great odds on horse racing, have been established for a long time and regularly have generous racing promotions available.

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Races At The York Dante Festival

The Dante Festival is known for featuring some of the most prestigious races on the UK racing calendar. Here are some of the key races at the festival:

Dante Stakes

The Dante Stakes is the highlight of the festival and is considered one of the most important trials for the Epsom Derby. It is a Group 2 flat horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds and its winners have often gone on to achieve success in the Epsom Derby. The race was first run in 1958.

Musidora Stakes

The Musidora Stakes is another big race that is held during the festival. It is a Group 3 flat horse race for three-year-old fillies and is often used as a trial for the Epsom Oaks. The race was first run in 1961 and is named after Musidora, a successful racehorse in the 1940s.

Yorkshire Cup

The Yorkshire Cup is a Group 2 flat horse race for horses aged four years and above. It is a long-distance race, covering a distance of 1 mile, 5 furlongs, and 188 yards. The race was first run in 1927 and is one of the oldest races held at the festival.

Over the years, the Dante Festival has seen some impressive performances. In 2020, Stradivarius, a world-renowned stayer, won the Yorkshire Cup for the third time in a row, cementing his place as one of the greatest stayers of all time.

Desert Crown was the winner of the Dante Stakes in 2022 and became one of eleven horses who have won the race alongside the Epsom Derby.

Dante Festival Day One Races (Musidora Stakes)
RACEGRADELENGTHPRIZE MONEYAGES
Jorvik HandicapClass 21m4f£50,0004 Years Old +
Infinity Tyres HandicapClass 26f£30,0004 Years Old +
Duke Of York StakesGroup 26f£125,0003 Years Old +
Musidora StakesGroup 31m2½f£100,0003 Year Old Fillies
HandicapClass 37f£20,0003 Years Old
EBF Novices StakesClass 35f£20,0002 Years Old (EBF Eligible)
HandicapClass 41m4f£21,0614 Years Old +
Dante Festival Day Two Races (Dante Stakes)
RACEGRADELENGTHPRIZE MONEYAGES
HandicapClass 25f£30,0004 Years Old +
Middleton Fillies’ StakesGroup 21m2½f£125,0004 Years Old +
Dante StakesGroup 21m2½f£165,0003 Years Old
Hambleton HandicapClass 21m£50,0004 Years Old +
EBF Westow StakesListed5f£50,0003 Years Old (EBF Eligible)
Maiden StakesClass 26f£20,0002 Years Old (EBF Eligible)
Investec HandicapClass 32m½f£20,0004 Years Old +
Dante Festival Day Three Races (Yorkshire Cup)
RACEGRADELENGTHPRIZE MONEYAGES
EBF Marygate Fillies’ StakesListed5f£50,0002 Year Old Fillies (EBF Eligible)
Fillies’ StakesListed1m£50,0003 Year Old Fillies
Yorkshire Cup StakesGroup 21m6f£165,0004 Years Old +
HandicapClass 21m2½f£30,0004 Years Old +
Fillies’ HandicapClass 37f£20,0003 Years Old + (Fillies & Mares)
HandicapClass 35f£20,0003 Years Old
Longines HandicapClass 41m4f£21,0613 Years Old

Where Is The Dante Festival?

The Dante Festival is held at York Racecourse. The course is set within 200 acres of parkland with stunning views of the North Yorkshire countryside.

The location provides memorable setting for the festival with visitors able to soak up the beauty of the area while enjoying the races and festivities. The course is also home to the historic Grandstand which was built in 1965 and offers stunning views of the course and the surrounding areas.

The course is easily accessible by public transport with regular bus and train services running to York from surrounding towns and cities. There is also parking available for those travelling by car.

Getting To The York Dante Festival

Getting to the Dante Festival is easy with several transportation options available.

By Car: York Racecourse is located just outside the city center of York and visitors traveling by car can use the A64 or the A19 to reach the venue.

By Public Transport: York Racecourse is well-connected by public transport with regular bus and train services running to York from surrounding areas. The racecourse is located approximately 1.5 miles from York railway station and visitors can take a bus or a taxi from the station to the racecourse. Bus services also run directly to the racecourse from the city centre.

By Foot: Visitors who are staying in the city centre of York can walk to the racecourse, with the venue located approximately 2.5 miles from the city centre which takes around 45 minutes on foot.

What To Wear To The York Dante Festival

Visitors to the Dante Festival often dress to impress with women sporting hats, fascinators and other accessories.

The dress code at the festival is generally smart and men usually opt for tailored suits or smart blazers.

The dress code may depend on which area you are in so be sure to check on the York Racecourse website before deciding what to wear.

York Dante Festival Atmosphere

While the Dante Festival is primarily a horse racing event, it is also known for its lively atmosphere. Visitors can expect a wide variety of entertainment options throughout the festival which makes it a fantastic day out for families and racing enthusiasts.

Live music performances take place each day of the festival. Various solo acts and bands play, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Visitors can also enjoy food and drink stalls which offer everything from traditional British dishes to international cuisine.

If you are attending as a family, there are often fairground rides which can come in handy when wanting to entertain the children.

Tips For Attending The York Dante Festival

Attending the Dante Festival can be a memorable experience. Here are some tips to help make the most of your visit:

  1. Dress appropriately. It is recommended that visitors dress smartly for the Dante Festival. Be sure to check the official dress code of your area in advance.
  2. Plan your day. The festival is spread out over three days, with several races and events each day. Plan what you want to do ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the highlights.
  3. Bring cash. While many of the drinks bars and food stalls accept card payments, it is a good idea to bring cash with you to the festival. This can help avoid any issues with card machines or connectivity. You may also want some cash on hand to place a bet with one of the bookies!
  4. Check the weather. The weather can be unpredictable so make sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly. It is always a good idea to bring a jacket or coat, even if the forecast suggests warm weather.
  5. Arrive early. The Dante Festival can be very busy. Arriving early gives you the best chance of finding a good spot to watch the races and settle in.
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