Trainer Roger Teal views Dancing Magic as "probably the best maiden in the country" as he prepares to step his consistent colt up in the trip for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York. Beaten only a length on debut at Salisbury last season, the son of Camelot was unfortunate not to shed his maiden status at Newbury on his second start before being handed some stiff assignments in his final three outings at two. Following a second to Naval Power in Haydock's Ascendant Stakes, he was then beaten less than three lengths behind Godolphin's 2000 Guineas hope Silver Knott before bumping into Aidan O'Brien's Auguste Rodin in the Group One Vertem Futurity where the bay finished a creditable fourth. Held in high regard by his handler and the team at Shefford Valley Stables, he again ran a fine race in defeat when third in the Craven on his return and has ruled out a return to Newmarket for the 2000 Guineas, Teal is now eyeing a move up to 10 furlongs on the Knavesmire on May 18. 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." York could also be graced with the presence of Teal's Royal Ascot scorer Oxted who is in line to return from a long absence in the 1895 Duke of York Clipper Stakes. The winner of the King's Stand at the Royal meeting in 2021, he was last seen finishing third in the July Cup later that summer, then missing the best part of two years through injury. However, the seven-year-old is now nearing his eagerly-awaited return with the hope of rewarding the patience of his connections when back to full fitness. "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."
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