Trainer Roger Teal is excited to run his consistent colt, Dancing Magic, in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York, as he sees the horse as “probably the best maiden in the country.”
The son of Camelot was narrowly beaten in his debut at Salisbury and was unlucky not to win his second start at Newbury. He faced stiff competition in his last three starts as a two-year-old, finishing second to Naval Power in the Ascendant Stakes, third to Godolphin’s 2000 Guineas hope Silver Knott, and fourth in the Group One Vertem Futurity behind Aidan O’Brien’s Auguste Rodin.
Dancing Magic continued to impress in his return to racing, finishing third in the Craven Stakes. Teal decided to skip the 2000 Guineas and is now targeting a move up to 10 furlongs on May 18 at York.
He said: “He’s come out of the Craven well and we decided to miss the Guineas and go to York for the Dante – I think he will be suited by a step up in trip.
“We were delighted with him and he ran a great race and hopefully he can go to York now and we’ll give him a chance over a mile and a quarter and see how he goes.
“He’s probably the best maiden in the country and he has never actually disappointed us. He was unlucky not to break his maiden tag at Newbury last season, but whenever we’ve thrown him in, he’s never disgraced us. He’s going the right way anyway.”
Teal may also send Oxted, his Royal Ascot-winning sprinter, to the 1895 Duke of York Clipper Stakes. The seven-year-old last ran in the July Cup in 2021, where he finished third and has since been recovering from an injury. Oxted’s return to racing will be eagerly anticipated by fans, and his connections are hoping that he rewards their patience with a victory.
Teal holds Dancing Magic and Oxted in high regard, and their potential runs at York have already generated excitement among racing fans. The trainer will be hoping that his horses can live up to their potential and deliver strong performances at the Knavesmire.
“Oxted is good and hopefully you will see him at York,” continued Teal.
“He’s training well and we are delighted with him. Fingers crossed we can get him to York in one piece and that will kick start his season.
“Whether or not he will be straight enough to win I don’t know, but we’ve got to start somewhere and he will come on for the run that’s for sure – he’s been off the track a fair while.
“The owners have been very patient and a lot of work has gone into getting him back. He’s been up on the treadmill at Fiona Marner’s at Windmill Farm and they have done a lot of the boring stuff for us and then we’ve got him back and he’s starting to shine.
“Every day is a sort of prayer day but hopefully we can get him there.”