FOUR IN A ROW QUESTION OF PATIENCE: Daqman took some knocks yesterday before making it four consecutive days with a winner. Prince Escalus literally jumped his field to the ground but had nothing left to hold the only other horse still standing. Then Last Date left it late and was second at 7-1. Finally he got his winner, The Questionner, at Wetherby.

WON 13-8 THE QUESTIONNER (Thursday, from BETDAQ 4.3)
WON 2-5 MALIBOO (Wednesday nap, from BETDAQ 2.1)
WON 11-8 NAJEEBA (Tuesday)
WON 10-3 SHOW MAKER (Monday, from BETDAQ 6.5)

DAQMAN’S OPENING SHOTS AT AYR: The trend towards winning big handicaps with claiming riders is put to its greatest test in tomorrow’s Scottish Grand National, say Daqman. He naps on the Flat at Leicester today but checks out for value shots on the opening days at Ayr and Newbury.


Good luck, boys! But young riders wanting a percentage of the £84,000-to-the-winner Scottish Grand National tomorrow will have no money on their mounts from me.

The Ayr marathon is notoriously tricky to win. Half a dozen runners tomorrow will be claimed off, at least two of their rides strongly fancied in single-figure odds with some bookmakers.

There were 21 cases of conditionals claiming off runners in the last five Scottish Grand Nationals; Jamie Bargary came closest, beaten a neck in 2017, but I’ve gone back much further and, apart from an amateur rider’s victory in 2008, it’s simply not a race for the inexperienced pilot.

Winning jockeys this century have included Tony McCoy, Richard Johnson, Timmy Murphy, Tom Scudamore, Sam Twiston-Davies and Ruby Walsh.

And tomorrow I’ll be checking out the rides of Brian Hughes, Danny Mullins, Adam Wedge, who’s also won it before, as well as Scudamore and Twiston-Davies. Conditionals in the last five Ayr Grand Nationals:

2021: Theo Gillard (claiming 5) on Lake View Lad, 7th; Angus Cheleda (7) on Coup De Pinceau, 8th. No race in 2020.
2019: Sam Waley-Cohen (3) pulled up on Impulsive Star; Rex Dingle (3) pulled up on Morney Wing; Rachael Mcdonald (5) pulled up on Geronimo.
2018: James Bowen (3) on Pearl Swan, 7th; Paul O’Brien (5) on Sizing Codelco, 8th; Sean Houlihan (5) on Regal Flow, 10th; Callum Bewley (3) on Alzammar, 11th; Bridget Andrews (3) on Work De Breteau, 13th; Ryan Day (3) pulled up on Looking Well; Sam Waley-Cohen (3), unseated rider from The Young Master.
2017: Jamie Bargary (3) beaten a neck, second on Cogry; Mr Zac Baker (7) on Benbens, 3rd; Adam Short (7) pulled up on Man With Van.
2016: Steven Fox (5) on Seeyouatmidnight, 3rd; Jamie Hamilton (5) on Sun Cloud, 6th; Graham Watters (3) on Milborough, 7th; Andrew Ring (5) brought down on Folsom Blue; Ryan Hatch (3) pulled up on Tour Des Champs.



⭕ 2.30 Newbury (Brown Chamberlin Trophy) Nestor Park’s form over fences at Newbury is 2231 and he is the only one in the field today with a CD win to his name. BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE 3.8.

Another you’d ‘expect’ at Newbury is a Nicky Henderson horse, but Patroclus was very disappointing the last day, and weakened two out when trying this sort of trip here around the turn of the year.

Java Point has been a Ludlow specialist this year. Keep Rolling’s form is lower class, and Switch Hitter has been beaten favourite twice, after winning a three-horse affair at Hereford in November, when the favourite that day failed to run his race and was 50-lengths last.

⭕ 3.40 Newbury Tom Scudamore’s record on Copper Coin this year is 111, still standing. Conditions are right; so is the field if you are an each-way or win-and-place punter. BETDAQ 8.9.

Philip Hobbs has dropped out of form yet again this season, and Orbys Legend has to give the selection 10lb, dropping back in grade, after trying to follow up his Wincanton win in a quality race at Sandown. You’re betting he can bounce back off topweight.

Annsam has won a couple of decent chases but has been expensive to follow over hurdles (last win more than two years back).

To support Dargiannini, you have to suppose that he will stay this longer trip, that Paul Nicholls can come back to form here and that the seven-year-old will jump better than when beaten (in first-time tongue-tie) at Kempton. Riggs has failed to complete the last twice.



⭕ 3.30 Ayr Winner of this race last year, Nietzsche is now 12lb lower and Brian Ellison has had a good year so far, winning the Great Yorkshire with Windsor Avenue and a £50,000 hurdle at Kelso with Cormier.

Ellison has won this race three times in eight years, and Nietzsche stopped a run by Dan Skelton, who won it in 2017, 2018, in 2019.
The arch-rivals for this £23,000 prize clash again via Skelton’s Beakstown, for whom it’s last-chance saloon with me here.

He has run really well in quality fields, particularly at Cheltenham but has not won a race for more than three years.

Flic Ou Voyou put it up to a decent novice the last day after a break but has to give weight to both Beakstown (BETDAQ 4.1) and Nietzsche (5.7); so does consistent Presentandcounting.

⭕ 4.05 Ayr Davy Russell has three rides at Ayr today: Motown Maggie is the intriguing one, 313 under Russell over shorter but with trainer Gordon Elliott insisting that the mare try again at 3m.

Maybe it was heavy ground that held her down, when second here at Ayr in January and when beaten 27 lengths at Punchestown (3m) the last day. Worth a bit of 11.0 on BETDAQ.

She gets 11lb from Get A Tonic, who has never been out of the first four, and has been placed in three consecutive Listed hurdles, one of them to Marie’s Rock who went on to win the Grade-1 Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival. First handicap start today.

Glimpse Of Gala is progressive but has to be, stepping up here under a 6lb rise. Badly off with Wynn House on their Ludlow form, and Wynn has the ground she needs now.

Timeless Beauty has done better over fences but the thinking is that she’s improved and can now go back to hurdles off a lower rating (7lb lower, in fact).

Musselburgh winner on New Year’s Day, Aurora Thunder was narrowly beaten in this race last year, and has been placed twice more without winning since Musselburgh.


⭕ NAP Hugo Palmer sends out Noman (3.20 Leicester) from the new stables he’s taken over from Tom Dascombe. Step up in trip is realistic on breeding and recent Newcastle run sets him up for this. BETDAQ 5.3.

Ironically, Tom Dascombe was beaten third in this race last year when the runner-up, Croeso Cymraeg, went down a neck, giving 20lb to the winner. The BETDAQ 13.0 is too big this morning.


2.30 Newbury (win 10)
BET 3.5pts win NESTOR PARK

3.20 Leicester (win 15, win 12 with 4.5pts place cover)
BET 3.5pts win NOMAN (nap)
BET 1pt win and 1.75pts place CROESO CYMRAEG

3.30 Ayr (win 10)

3.40 Newbury (win 12 with place cover)
BET 1.5pts win and place COPPER COIN

4.05 Ayr (win 10, place win 10)
BET 1pt win 3.5pts place MOTOWN MAGGIE

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.