Can Duke Of Firenze Win The Dash Again?

Can Duke Of Firenze Win The Dash Again?

Veteran sprinter Duke Of Firenze has an outstanding chance of winning the Epsom Dash this Saturday on Classic weekend, to further his fine record in one of Britain's fastest horse-races.

That is the view of his trainer David Griffiths, who will saddle the ten-year-old for his sixth appearance in the relentless competitive handicap in Surrey, looking to follow up his success back in 2013 off a fifteen-pound better-off mark.

Franny Norton will climb aboard for the first time on Saturday, after the former Sir Michael Stoute-trained gelding has made a remarkable return to that winning feeling at Thirsk and York in the past couple of weeks.

Finishing a narrow third on two other occasions, his handicap mark looks something to saviour.

(Credit: Racing Post) Griffiths said: "He’s got to go there with a brilliant chance, he’s gone up to 90 and is running off 89 with his two penalties.

"He loves Epsom, he’s right back to his best and from a purely handicapping point of view, he was beaten a short neck in the race off 107 two years ago. If he’s back to as good as he is, he’s seriously well handicapped off 89."

Griffiths endured a discouraging season with the sprinter last term, but his never-ending losing run meant he started this season 23lb below his opening mark of 107 twelve months ago.

Since dropping down into the 80's, he has began to flourish once again.

Griffiths continued: "It was difficult for him last year. He started off 107 after finishing fourth in the Abbaye and he struggled – I couldn’t really put my finger on why.

"The fact that he did struggle meant he came down 23lb in the weights. We took a couple of runs to get him back and feeling okay at home, but the win at Thirsk gave him massive confidence and he loves York.

"He was well handicapped on his old form but he did it well and has come out of it really well."

Currently a general 10/1 shot behind strong favourite and Irish raider Hathiq, Duke Of Firenze would have to go against all recent trends that stand before him.

No horse has won the Dash as a ten-year-old, something old foes Caspian Prince - who will carry top weight, and Pettochside will also look to defy.

Firenze's trainer though stated that he always believed his five furlong specialist had never lost his talents, and that retirement was never in mind despite plenty of poor showings.

"I know a few people had said after he’d run a few times that he didn't want it anymore, but he never showed us that at home.

"They never lose the ability until a certain point, but as long as you look after them the better ones have got it there. He didn’t have it last year but he looks to have found it again now."

"On the track he [Duke Of Firenze] is nothing like a sprinter; he’s not like Take Cover or even Ornate, he doesn’t have to go down last or be led down or have a blindfold in the stalls.

"He’s so straightforward on the track whereas at home he can be a bit of a monkey," he finished.

Free Bets & Offers


😍 Get up to £50 in Free Bets 😍
T&Cs: New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 to £50 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bet rewarded as 4 free bets that total the first deposit amount. Min odds 1/1 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply
Claim Bonus
💥 BET £5 ON HORSE RACING & GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 💥
FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 3 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
📲 BET £10 GET £40 AT WILLIAM HILL 📲
New customers who register via mobile only, min £10/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4x£10/€10 (30 day expiry), free bet/payment method, player/country restrictions apply
Claim Bonus
🏆 BET £20 & GET YOUR STAKE BACK AS CASH IF YOU LOSE! 🏆
New customers only. Minimum odds 1/5 (1.2). If you place a multiple at least one selection must meet the min odds requirement. Max £20 refund. Only deposits made using Cards or Applepay qualify. Qualifying bet must be placed and settled within 30 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
100% Matched Free Bet up to £10!
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card & Paypal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.