05/12/2003 12:00AM

Rematch on tap in Dante Stakes


Magistretti and Dunhill Star will renew their rivalry at York on Wednesday in the Group 2 Dante Stakes, traditionally the key prep for the Epsom Derby.

Those two were separated by just a head in the 1 1/8-mile listed Feilden Stakes on April 17 at Newmarket and should be battling it out again in the Dante, run at a distance of 1 1/4 miles, 85 yards.

Battle Chant, fifth in the Group 3 Craven Stakes, and Tuning Fork, a recent maiden winner for trainer Henry Cecil and owner Khalid Abdullah, could challenge Magistretti and Dunhill Star, but any member of the Dante field would have to show considerable improvement to challenge the current Epsom Derby favorite, Refuse to Bend.

Trained by Dermot Weld, Refuse to Bend won the 2000 Guineas and is the 5-2 favorite for the 1 1/2-mile Derby, which will be run June 7.