DAQMAN STILL BUZZING: 11 BETS UP! Daqman made it 11 winning bets in a week when his place on BETDAQ outsider Sweet Honey B (3rd in to 7-1 SP) at Lingfield, followed 10 winners (listed Tuesday and Wednesday).
BIG-RACE TRACKS INSPECTING: Newbury is on today but there are inspections this afternoon for the Gold Cup meeting tomorrow and the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.
HERMES TO FOLLOW STAGE STAR
⭕ 1.50 Newbury (John Francome Novices’ Chase, 2m 4f) Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree (2014) and Brown Advisory hero Champ (2019, then called the RSA) were launched in this.
It was not last year’s winner but the odds-on second that would go on from there. Name of Stage Star, winner for Paul Nicholls of his next three starts including the Turners at the festival.
First of all, I’m leaving Colonel Mustard on the side of my plate. He tells us all about himself with this numbing sequence 2330422232, hurdles and fences.
Nicky Henderson, Champ’s trainer, has talked about No Ordinary Joe as if he were going to stay on the hurdles circuit. But in his favour are his returns first time and after a break: 1131.
Two four-year-olds have won this including Paul Nicholls’ subsequent King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux (2016) but, again, it will be a surprise to some that the stable’s little Hermes Allen goes over fences, even at age six.
But, as one who doesn’t show much at home, he was an unexpected hurdles star, superb winner of the Challow Hurdle, and Nicholls has decided he must take his chance novice chasing (after a wind op) or leave a surprised trainer wondering what might have been.
Front-runner Nickel Back is a quirky beast but has a high cruising speed and jumps a fence; raised 22lb for two runs two wins.
That puts him clear of the grey, Marble Sands, who looks a bit inflated for winning a class 3 at Ayr; his hurdles form would have him 5lb lower.
Tightenourbelts beat nothing well at Ludlow; the second horse went down a total of 52 lengths in two races, one before and one after the Ludlow effort.
WATCH THIS ONE SAIL AWAY
⭕ 2.25 Newbury (2m 4f handicap chase) Dan Skelton and Venetia Willams have shared four of the last six winners of this. Three of the last five carried between 11st 10lb and 12st.
Add these stats together and you get the top-weight, Sail Away, for whom Skelton has had several big races in mind but hasn’t wanted to ship anchor until he felt that his seven-year-old would not disappoint.
So many from the yard have run below par. That the stable was missing strike is clear from the returns for their favorites, even earlier this month: 102230. But those in the last week have run: 1432121. That’s 42% from 16%.
Sail Away, who is by one of the sires of the moment, Martaline, was an improver on good ground in the Spring and comes back after a wind op.
Frere Banbou (Venetia Williams) needs plenty of rain to show his best; Kandoo Kid is a stone behind on form; and Karl Philippe’s yard is another missing strike with thee winners in 10 days but a string of frustrating places: 23233233233.
Betdaq Betting Exchange 10 Sail Away
ROLL OVER FOR MARIE’S ROCK
⭕ 3.00 Newbury (Long Distance Hurdle, 3m) Old-timers here are Paisley Park winner of this race in 2019, and Dashel Drasher, whose form at 3m is 222203.
Champ and Unowhtimeanharry both won it when aged 10, both starting favourite.
But Marie’s Rock, the eight-year-old at the front of the market today, must surely be the selection, getting 7lb from Paisley Park, whose stable is out of form (1-20).
She won the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown back to back in 2022, and thrashed the Drasher six lengths in the Relkeel at the start of this year when she was fresh.
Her final outing last season was when switched to 3m in the Liverpool Hurdle, leading two out but held at the last, though clear of Flooring Porter, Champ and Dashel Drasher.
1.50 Newbury (win 12)
BET 7pts win HERMES ALLEN
2.25 Newbury (win 20)
BET 2pts win and place SAIL AWAY
3.00 Newbury (win 10, nap)
BET 12pts win MARIES ROCK
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