HORSES are looking to boost their Investec Derby credentials in the £185,700 Dante Stakes at York tomorrow.

Run over the extended 1m 2f at 3.30, Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean has attracted massive support and is a best-priced 7/2 for the feature on day two of the May meeting. If he wins well, many pundits reckon he could start favourite for next month’s Blue Ribband.

Aiden O’Brien holds six entries in the Dante. Of these, the market leader is Examplar, 7/1. His son Joseph has entered his Group 3 winner Rekindling, 5/1.

Trainer John Gosden has won the last two runnings and this year has leading Derby contender, Cracksman, the 2/1fav, and Monarchs Glen, 20/1. Godolphin’s Benbati is 6/1, and not without a chance, while of the local hopes, Mark Johnston has Permian, 10/1, Kevin Ryan Syphax, 12/1, and Richard Fahey Forest Ranger, 14/1. The flood of money for the Stoute runner suggests a big run is expected.

On the same card is the £125,000 Group 2 Middleton Stakes for fillies and mares at 2.55. Last year’s Tattersalls Musidora winner, So Mi Dar, is evens and a likely victor, with Breeders’ Cup heroine Queen’s Trust 5/2.

Friday’s highlight is the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup at 3.30. Frankie Dettori’s booking for Big Orange, 5/1, catches the eye.

Others to consider over the final two days are:

Thursday – 2.20 Duke of Firenze, 10/1, 4.05 Donncha, 8/1, 4.35 Yalta, 5.35 Cartwright.

Friday – 2.55 Tomyris, 4.05 Top Tug, 16/1, 5.05 Carlton Frankie.