BIG-RACE SCENE ON BETDAQ: At last it’s here! Daqman moves into big-race action tomorrow with previews and selections for a feast of racing on BETDAQ which includes:

Saturday: Imperial Cup at Sandown
Next week (Tuesday to Friday) Cheltenham four-day festival
April 1 Lincoln Handicap and the start of the Flat
April 15 the Grand National

CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN: Daqman completes his day-by-day stats and facts countdown to Cheltenham by checking out the seven races on Gold Cup day.

WEATHER REPORT: Cheltenham has been hit by snow with the official ground moved from good to soft to soft on Friday morning. Leicester’s Friday card was called off but Ayr passed their inspection. Sandown’s Imperial Cup card on Saturday will hinge on an 8am inspection.


FESTIVAL FACTS: GOLD CUP DAY

⚠️ Cheltenham Friday is lays day; nice work if you have a BETDAQ account and some short prices. This is how it looks:

LAYS LOGIC: Favourites in the decade have drawn a blank in the 2.50 (nine consecutive years) and the 5.30 (10 years).

⭕ 1.30 Cheltenham, Friday March 17 (Triumph Hurdle) Four-year-olds only. Favourites four out of 12. Outsiders at 10-1, 12-1, 20-1 and 33-1.

Winners ratings: 155, 142, 155, 140, 141 notional, 120 notional, 147, 146. Trainers: Nicky Henderson (3 in 12 seasons) and Willie Mullins (2).

⭕ 2.10 Cheltenham, Friday (County Hurdle) Favourites: two out of three but string of outsiders before that: 33-1, 25-1, 20-1 (three).

Age: 5 and 6 (10/13)). Weight: no more than 11st 1lb (9/12). Ratings: 138, 138, 158, 139, 146, 137, 129. 141. Trainers: Dan Skelton (3/7); Willie Mullins (5/11).

LAYS: Mixed messages for favourites, and prices usually too big to lay.

⭕ 2.50 Cheltenham, Friday (Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle) No winning favourite in nine years, with eight winners double-figure SPs of 11-1, 14-1 (twice), 16-1 (twice), 18-1, 33-1 (twice) and 50-1.

Age 6 and 7 (11 out of 13). Some 12 out of 15 had won at around 3m.

LAYS LOGIC: Favourites finished: 7-2 fav PU (2016), 9-4 fav 5th, 11-4 fav 4th; 4-1 fav 2nd; 4-1 fav 4th; 7-2 fav 4th; 9-4 fav pulled up (2022).

⭕ 3.30 Cheltenham, Friday (Gold Cup) Four favourites have won in the decade and 9/11 have been 9-1 or shorter at SP. Seven of the last eight winners had won two of their last three races, still standing.

Age, 7, 8 and 9 (12/13). Ratings: 152, 166, 175, 167, 166, 164, 175, 164, 174.

Trainers: Henry de Bromhead (2) goes for a hat-trick; Willie Mullins (2), Nicky Henderson (2).

The last 16 winners had already won Graded races (Grade-1 12 times); 16 out of 16 had raced at Cheltenham before; 14 out of 15 had won at 3m or further, and 16 out of 16 had won at least two chases.

⭕ 4.10 Cheltenham, Friday (Challenge Cup hunters’ chase) Four favourites have won in the last seven seasons but others include 66-1 and 25-1. Last eight winners all aged 10 or 11.

Winning trainers: Paul Nicholls (2), Enda Bolger (2). Won over at least 3m (10/12).

⭕ 4.50 Cheltenham, Friday (Mares’ Chase) New race in 2021: two out of two for Willie Mullins, both eight-year-olds; both 9-4 SP. Ratings 150, 155.

LAYS LOGIC: Both beaten favourites (2-1 and 6-5) were also trained Willie Mullins and the 2021 beaten favourite won the race the following year!

⭕ 5.30 Cheltenham Friday (Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle) Favourites: nil in the decade. Ages: 5 and 6 (11 out of 13). Weight: 11st 3lb and above (9/10)

Ratings: 135, 139, 138, 144, 145, 145, 142, 137. Trainers: W Mullins (5), P. Nicholls (2), Joseph O’Brien (2).

LAYS LOGIC: Favourites finished 9-4 fav 7th (2016), 9-2 fav 8th (2017), 13-2 fav 12th (2018); 7-2 fav 2nd (2019); 4-1 fav 12th (2020), 4-1 fav 10th (2021); 7-2 fav brought down (2022).


WIND, LIGHTNING BUT NO SNOW

⭕ 4.20 Ayr Two in-form mares do battle here with them both seeking a hat-trick. There’s little to split Ruby Island and Windtothelightning on the Betdaq Betting Exchange market or on official ratings but it might just pay to stick with Windtothelightning who has the experience over this 2m 4f trip.

She travelled well when winning over this distance last time out at Market Rasen and can continue the good recent form of the trainer axis of Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero.

Ruby Island will obviously be a tough nut to crack if she proves equally as adept over the two and a half mile trip as she has over two miles. There’s certainly every suggestion she’ll handle it but all her form is with give in the ground and it’s forecast good today. I don’t want to back a likely favourite with two unproven question marks over both distance and ground.


CLAY A LAY?

⭕ 4.40 Exeter My instinct was to take on Clay here who is 0-13 overall flat and jumps and it was slightly alarming to note that the jockey reported that he ‘stopped quickly’ when sixth at Taunton last time out. The drop back in trip is a likely positive but at the probable prices …. no deal.

Wells Glory is likely to need this after 10 months off the course and despite a promising start to his career has so far regressed.

A more speculative win and place play at double figure Betdaq odds is Prince Rhinegold who won a weak course and distance novice hurdle a couple of weeks ago where he showed improved form for the better ground which he gets again today. It’s a much stiffer task but he looks one of only a handful that you can see making further improvement.


JUDGE GETS VERDICT

⭕ 7.00 Kempton High Court Judge is up 3lb for dead-heating at Chelmsford last time out when he got up on the line.

Hopefully natural progression should offset the rise up the weights and as the only previous winner in the race he can strike again at the main expense of Olympic Quest who ran a good race here last time out on his first start in handicap company.

DAQMAN’S BETS

4.20 Ayr (win 10, nap)
BET 4.7pts win WINDTOTHELIGHTNING

4.40 Exeter (win 10 from both win and place bets)
BET 1pt win, 4pts place PRINCE RHINEGOLD

7.00 Kempton (win 10)
BET 2.9pts win HIGH COURT JUDGE (7.00 Kempton)


What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….

Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.

Did you know? DAQMAN’s tips are posted each and every day so he’s always on hand to help with your horse racing betting.


DAQMAN Sat: Big Race Preview
DAQSTATS Sat: Ascot NAP
THE ULTRA Sun: Euro 2024 FINAL Spain v England
THE EDGE Sat: Zimbabwe v India 4th T20
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