CAN YORK GIVE US DERBY CLUES? York’s Musidora and Dante (Derby and Oaks) trials take on huge significance this week after a washout of English, Irish and French favourites at yesterday’s Longchamp Guineas meeting, when an electric storm intervened. Winners at 24-1 and 31-1 followed Newmarket Guineas winners at 28-1 and 16-1.

DAQMAN COUNTDOWN TOMORROW: Don’t miss Daqman’s York analysis, starting tomorrow with previews of the Classic trials, and ultimately a ratings assessment of the colts and fillies in time for Epsom. The Derby market is currently headed by a Group-3 winner and the 17-lengths ninth colt home in the Newmarket 2,000!


INCROYABLE! Just when it seemed that their form was key to the Classic three–year-olds, the two Guineas at Longchamp yesterday were a French farce.

Nothing remotely fancied or touted by their trainers and commentators – or ours – reached the first three in either 1,000 Guineas for fillies (Pouliches) or 2,000 for colts (Poulains).

The winners, Rouhiya and Metropolitan, started at 31-1 and 24-1, the meeting itself suspect from the get-go when, despite soft ground at another Paris track, Saint-Cloud on Saturday, yesterday’s Longchamp card was forecast in Paris as ‘good with firm parts’. Quoi?

Now it’s well known that ‘good’ can mean ‘soft’ in some French forecasting, but punters were finally put in the picture when the Racing Post results service revealed during the afternoon: ‘Good to soft, changed to Good after Race 1 and changing to Soft after Race 5.’

In fact, it changed to Soft after Race 4, the 1,000 Guineas, and before the 2,000.

Runners for the 2,000 (poulains) were parading in the paddock when horses and spectators were rushed for cover from an electric storm piercing the atmosphere ‘with rods of lightning’. The unprecedented big-race returns:

Pouliches 1-2-3 (1.000 Guineas): 31-1, 45-1, 17-1 (Romantic Style 4th; Louise Proctor 23-10 favourite 13th); hd, nk, short-neck. Trainer: Francis Graffard

Poulains 1-2-3 (2,000 Guineas): 243-10, 26-1, 20-1 (Diego Velazquez 4th; Henry Longfellow 13-10 favourite 8th); half–length, short-neck, nk. Trainer: Mario Baratti.

Viewers home and away blinked when the one-two in the 1,000 carried colours made famous way back into the last century, the Aga Khan winning the £273k prize with Rouhiya followed by the Sangster colours carried by Kathmandu (trained by Brian Meehan). Both silks are green.

Metropolitan for France took the 2,000 Guineas prize, the Poulains (worth £322.9k) only narrowly beat Lambourn’s Roger Teal with Dancing Gemini.

Form keys, if you can call it form: Kathmandu was third in the Nell Gwyn Stakes behind Pretty Crystal, who was only 10th in the Newmarket 1,000, and Dancing Gemini was fifth of seven in the Doncaster Futurity last autumn; not raced this year.


⭕ 2.47 Catterick The stayers are in action here for this two mile handicap which might end up going to the Ed Dunlop trained raider Greek Giant.

He comes into this fresh from a successful spell on the all-weather and staying has always been his game as we found out last year when he won a mile and half race at Brighton by 21 lengths and would have pulled 100 lengths clear in another four furlongs!

It was good to firm that day at Brighton so the drying conditions at Catterick will pose no problems.

He’s no world beater and this is his level but he is much preferred to chief Betdaq Betting Exchange rival Animato who has yet to fully convince over this extended trip and was a beaten favourite at Ayr last time out when comprehensively brushed aside by Show No Fear in a four runner race.

At bigger odds Cosmic Soul could run into a place. He hasn’t shown much over hurdles recently but quicker ground on the flat might help his cause and he was nibbled at in morning Betdaq trading.


⭕ 3.17 Catterick From one extreme to the other as we step back to the minimum five furlongs at Catterick which is particularly quick with a large part downhill.

Keldeo has been dealt the best of the draw in stall one and there’s every chance the filly can reverse the form with Musselburgh conqueror Zaphea. There was only a half length between them, so the 3lb swing in the weights – combined with the draw swings me towards the Ollie Pears trained runner.

The market is dominated by Willolarupi who has stall nine to overcome and looks too short in the market for 0-7 maiden. He seemed to show more for the first time blinkers at Beverley last week when second but now needs to show that form and probably more on a quicker surface.


⭕ 9.00 Wolverhampton It’s fair to say Silvestre De Sousa has had a fantastic return to the UK scene – headlined of course by his 1,000 Guineas win on Elmalka.

Smaller fish to be fried here but he looks to have a great chance in the finale off following up his Southwell success on Specialist View despite the 7lb hike in the weights.

He had more than the official three and a half lengths in hand that day and the Chris Dwyer yard are in great form currently with four winners from their last nine runners.


2.47 Catterick (win 10)
BET 4.0pts win GREEK GIANT

3.17 Catterick (win 20)
BET 3.0pts win KELDEO

9.00 Wolverhampton (win 10, nap)

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DAQMAN Mon: Yarmouth NAP
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