DAQMAN DARING AS EVER: 44.0 FOR GOLD CUP DAY AT CHELTENHAM: Daqman says it’s costing you money following Willie Mullins! You should open the final day with your best bet. A 44.0 tilt at the layers is not just Moon shine. Fortune Cookies are 17.0, 6.5 and 6.2 this morning. Headlines:


DAQMAN HAS DOUBLE THE PRICEWISE TOTAL GOING INTO LAST DAY: Daqman goes in the final day 38-19 up on Pricewise. That’s double his winners total but a huge 474 points clear to 10-point level stakes. Bull’s-eye bets are close behind on 328 points from win-50 stakes. More of those today.

📈 Daqman 38, Pricewise 19 (+408.48 to – 66.00) 10pt stakes at SP
📈 Bull’s-eye bets: 45% (+328.15 from 19-47) staked to win 50
📈 Bulls-eye naps 2020: 33% (+31.00 from 1-3) (2019: 47% +249 from 8-17)
📈 All Daily Naps 45% (+110.28 from 53-118) 10pt stakes at SP
📈 Supernaps 50% (- 09.44 from 15-30) 20pt stakes at SP
📈 Fortune Cookies 44% (+28.54 from 7-16) 20pt stakes at SP


⭕ 1.30 Cheltenham (Triumph Hurdle)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
RATINGS: 157 Solo, 152 Aspire Tower, 151 Goshen, 148 Allmankind
TRAINER: In the absence of Nicky Henderson and Gordon Elliott, the leaderboard is now headed by Paul Nicholls (Solo, Sir Psycho) and Alan King (Lord Lamington)
KEY RACES: Allmankind (Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham) and A Wave Of The Sea (Spring Juvenile Hurdle, Leopardstown).

FORM: Aspire Tower, trying to make all, had every chance at Leopardstown but fell at the last behind Cerberus, who idled on the run-in and was overtaken by A Wave Of The Sea.

Paul Nicholls describes his Adonis winner, Solo, as ‘another Master Minded’, while Goshen has impressed and, like Solo, is bred to get further, always a useful asset at Cheltenham, whereas front-runner Allmankind and A Wave Of The Sea are Flat bred, more for the Derby than Cheltenham!

VERDICT: Solo (5.3 taken) and Goshen are exciting prospects. Something will come at them out of the blue, something Irish no doubt, so watch the BETDAQ betting. I’ll go Solo and find a saver later.


⭕ 2.10 Cheltenham (County Hurdle)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
TRAINER: Aramon, Ciel De Neige, Buildmeupbuttercup, Mohaayed, Saint Roi, Tiger Tap Tap.

FORM: Dan Skelton goes for a hat-trick and four from five in this race by bringing back for a fourth time his 2018 winner, Mohaayed, who’s been dropped 11lb since only seventh last year, the same position as in 2017.

But the helter-Skelton winners merry-go-round has ground to a halt at Cheltenham this week. Returns: F04U0P0044000.

Willie Mullins has had four winners already in the race, and now has the three market leaders, including Saint Roi, who was originally put away for the Punchestown Festival but has improved so much at home that he’s considered forward enough for this, without so much as a prep run since his maiden.

Paul Townend elects to ride Aramon (BETDAQ 10.0), who is a hidden horse in that he’s taken on Klassical Dream, Sharjah and Honeysuckle in five of his last six starts. Nothing of that ilk here.

But perhaps form analysis is all academic as double-figure SPs up to 33-1 in the last decade suggest the result of this contest is not ‘expected.’ Most of them were with Willie!

BETDAQ VALUE: My tilt at the layers is 44.0 on BETDAQ about Moon Over Germany, who beat Lady Buttons 10 lengths over fences at Aintree and was five lengths behind Notebook in November. That leaves his hurdles rating more than a stone behind his climb up the chasing ranks, and he will surely bridge that gap. Rachael Blackmore will ensure we get a run for our money.


⭕ 2.50 Cheltenham (Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
RATINGS: 152 Monkfish, 151 Ramses De Teillee, 150 Thyme Hill.
FORTUNE COOKIES: Thyme Hill, Harry Senior

This column was confident of a final Cheltenham flourish in this from Thyme Hill (6.2 this morning) and superb BETDAQ value at 17.0 for Harry Senior.

Unfortunately our luck remains low, and here we are on two drifters from out-of-form stables: Philip Hobbs (Thyme Hill) has returned F004P00F00 from the first three days and Colin Tizzard (Harry Senior) is 0P034P0FP0P0.

By the way, you are not a winner with Willie Mullins (3-39; more than 20 points down to single-unit level stakes). You are with Gordon Elliottt (6-31; +18) and narrowly with J P McManus (6-28; +8.50).

FORM: Though only three lengths off Abracadabras over 2m, Latest Exhibition (rated 149) has improved for longer trips, though the last-day third at Leopardstown, Longhouse Poet, let the form down yesterday.

The runner-up at Leopardstown was Cobblers Way, with Fury Road in fourth. Monkfish, a big chasing type, has ‘beat nothing well’.

Thyme Hill, third to Envoi Allen in the Champion Bumper last year, has won three hurdles in a row, again with not much follow-up from the placed horses.

If you could build an equine robot for this event, it would be Harry Senior (Oscar out of a Presenting mare; crying out for this trip) but horses are not robots and the form of the stable is worrying.

VERDICT: Hopefully, either or both of Thyme Hill and Harry Senior can shine through the gloom of their stable form. We will have a saver on Latest Exhibition (BETDAQ 6.0), who has form that’s worked out well.


⭕ 3.30 Cheltenham (Cheltenham Gold Cup)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
RATINGS: 175 Al Boum Photo, 175 Kemboy, 173 Clan Des Obeaux, 173 Lostintranslation
TRAINER: Clan Des Obeaux, Santini

FORM: I looked for Grade-1 winners with course form, aged between seven and nine, with at least one chase win at 3m or more, and found eight of the 12 runners fit these stats. From these, my 1-2-3 is:

🏇 1 DELTA WORK Won the Pertemps Hurdle Final here and third in the RSA before Punchestown Champion Novice in 2019. His six out of eight chase wins have brought steady improvement and he’s the same age as the last two Irish winners, Sizing John and Al Boum Photo, and he’s as good as both at that stage.

He resisted Kemboy’s strong pressure to win the Irish Gold Cup, improving on success in the Savills Chase but helped by Kemboy’s jumping errors. Those errors have Kemboy’s form figures down to 0U4 in three starts at Cheltenham. BETDAQ 6.5 this morning.

🏇 2 CLAN DES OBEAUX Only fifth to Al Boum Photo last year and seemed to lose his way after, but trounced the flavour of the month, 5-4 favourite, Cyrname, 21 lengths on Boxing Day to land back-to-back wins in the King George, storming clear as a much stronger horse than the previous year, when he had pipped Thistlecrack. Kept fresh for today.

🏇 3 AL BOUM PHOTO Surprise winner last year – ‘only third or fourth in the stable pecking order at the time,’ said trainer Willie Mullins – beating Anibale Fly and Bristol de Mai, who have both failed to score since and the fourth, Native River, though a winner twice, has been dropped 5lb to 168.

VERDICT: Gordon Elliott thought that Delta Work was a Gold Cup horse last year but he’s needed to win some tough races and come to himself mentally, still only seven. He’s progressed with every race.

Clan des Obeaux is a much better horse than last year, as he showed in his second King George. He has decent Cheltenham form so may not be just a flat-track king. He seems at home now on soft, after being kept to better ground in his younger days. So just niggling question marks.

Al Boum Photo, himself, could have improved over the winter. He’ll certainly be better for the break but those he beat last year, when he had to be ridden out, are now rated 158, 170 and 168, and you wouldn’t fancy any of them in the line-up this afternoon.


⭕ 4.10 Cheltenham(Foxhunter Challenge Cup)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
RATINGS: 147 Hazel Hill, 142 Don Poli, 142 Minella Rocco; 141 Alcala, Shantou Flyer.
TRAINER: Alcala, Staker Wallace.
KEY RACES: Hazel Hill

FORM: Three horses have won this back to back since 2012, and Hazel Hill goes for the double today but faces a stat none of the others did: he is 12 years old and there have been only two winners over the age of 11 since 1976.

Winner of the 2016 NH Chase and second in the 2017 Gold Cup, Minella Rocco beat Hazel Hill a length and a half in a Wetherby hunter-chase on the first of last month but was receiving 4lb

Don Poli, winner of the 2015 RSA and third in the 2016 Gold Cup, has won two Points recently. Southfield Theatre, also placed in an RSA, has won a recent Point, as has Shantou Flyer, twice runner-up in the same handicap at the festival.

Punchestown Champion Hunter, Caid Du Berlais has been beaten in the last two runnings of this race but has otherwise won seven out of eight Points and hunter-chases, still standing.

J P McManus owns Minella Rocco and also Staker Wallace, who had been absent three years when beaten by Billaway at Naas. Kalabaloo won a hunter-chase 15 lengths here at Cheltenham last May.

VERDICT: Derek O’Connor on Jonjo O’Neill’s Minella Rocco, Jamie Codd on Enda Bolger’s Staker Wallace (BETDAQ 8.2) and Patrick Mullins on Willie Mullins’ Billaway are the most successful riders in the race, and most reliable for a bet. I’ll stick with Jamie Codd, who is 1330 at Cheltenham this week.


⭕ 4.50 Cheltenham (Grand Annual)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
TRAINER: Capeland, Greeneteen

FORM: Another pinstickers’ race, with big-odds winners. The last seven successful had not scored that season!

My pin falls on Paloma Blue, fourth in the 2018 Supreme, would have given Eclair De Beaufeu 12lb and a beating at Leopardstown on the last day but for being hampered. I took 12.0


⭕ 5.30 Cheltenham (Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle)

REPRISE: See How They Won (Archive: February 25, 26, 27, 28). Stats (Archive: March 3, 4, 5, 6)
TRAINER: Column Of Fire, Escaria Ten, Everybreathyoutake, Five O’Clock, Great White Shark, My Sister Sarah, The Bosses Oscar.

FORM: An earlier win for Latest Exhibition would boost Assemble but he has a lot to find with Five O’Clock. Assemble was third when Five O’Clock slammed Front View six lengths at Thurles.

Sandwiched between winning a bumper at the Punchestown Festival and landing a gamble over 23 others at Cork, Front View had been runner-up in another big field to none other than Envoi Allen.

Ben Jones would give Pileon a good ride (has already raced round Cheltenham) if he can step out from under the Philip Hobbs cloud.

BETDAQ VALUE: They want young Jonjo O’Neill on Front View (5.3 favourite), believing he can turn around the form with Five O’Clock (9.4). BETDAQ gives you value around the Clock!


1.30 Cheltenham (win-50 bull’s-eye nap)
BET 11pts win SOLO

2.10 Cheltenham (win-50 bull’s-eye bets, 20 place)
BET 5pts win ARAMON
BET 1.25ts win and 2.5pts place MOON OVER GERMANY

2.50 Cheltenham (win-50 bull’s-eye bet)

4.10 Cheltenham (win 30)

4.50 Cheltenham (win 30, place 10)
BET 2.75pts win and place PALOMA BLUE

5.30 Cheltenham (win 30)
BET 3.5pts win FIVE O’CLOCK

Fortune Cookies including Delta Work in the Gold Cup are 20 points win.

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