DAQMAN STAYS IN FRONT FOUR DAYS RUNNING: Daqman has finished ahead every day this week so far, sometimes only just (he called Wednesday ‘break even’; he was only plus a couple of points). But Allanard (WON 4-1) did the trick again yesterday to take him to 34 points profit in the four days. His 15-day sequence (W-win, L-lose) is as follows: WWLWWLWWWLLWWWW

For the umpteenth time in this column, I’m preaching quality. Quality racing is easily your best bet: you can trust the horses. Class-3 or 4 racing and above gives you a chance; below that level and you are never sure how the horse will perform.

If you don’t believe me, check out winners last time out; they hardly ever win again next time in the lower grades: very few of them are capable of putting good runs together, back to back.

Reason: they are ‘thinkers’ (horses who are shirking their task, quick to ‘remember’ and resist the pain of exertion at speed) but, more commonly below class 4, they simply don’t have the constitution to reel off results like a machine. A few more pounds in the saddle will stop them as if shot.

As James Pyman points out today in a revealing quality article in the trade paper – let’s have more of the spyman – the exceptions to this rule are those unexposed horses trained by the cunning, the wise and Sir Mark Prescott, who is both cunning and wise and, if I met him, would also call ‘sir.’

2.10 Newmarket Here’s Pyman’s example par excellence, the progressive Athenian, trained by ‘sir’, the master of setting up a sequence.

But, heh, what’s this? James Fanshawe (27% with first-timers in a handicap) has leapfrogged to the favourite’s spot with Isola Verde this morning.

And, though the pair have opened up a big gap between them and the next horse in the market – the top weight, giving them 12lb or more – I can get 4.0 Athenian and 3.0 Isola Verde in a 105% book of offers.

Thanks to BETDAQ, I could back both if I could be certain that nothing else in the race will interfere but, as all professionals do, I have to allow a point in my pricing-up for the unexpected, and I have to be wary of creating an odds-on situation in any dutching.

So I will stick to my tried and tested Daqman plan, which is to back one and save on the other; it’s kept me sneaking a small profit all the week knowing that, when things go right, I shall finish up with a wide margin of winnings.

4.30 Newmarket Here’s an unusual ‘first time in a handicap’: instead of being upped from a requisite number of maidens, Jungle Beat drops back from a Listed attempt (when, in fact, badly hampered).

Trainer John Gosden has landed two hat-tricks in a fortnight with 10 winners at a strike rate of 76% placing them like pawns on a chess-board, sometimes on form seeming small fry but capable of a sideways shuffle that knocks off a key player.

Key player today is the likely favourite, Thomas Chippendale, who ran well last time out, but I noticed that, once he’d cruised up on the bridle, he didn’t find much when let down and ‘asked,’ though maybe he’ll be fitter today.

7.45 Doncaster The trade-paper draw assessment is, as ever, all over the place: Spotlight warns against Indian Jack and Swiftly Done (high numbers) because of their wide draw, though the Doncaster Topdraw table insists that ‘high’ is best, percentage-wise (56), and the Ten-Year Trends shows past results for ‘low’ as nil, on firmish or softish ground.

I think I’ll rely on K. Fallon to do the right thing on a horse that gets left behind early anyway; name of Indian Jack. Making Eyes has to be a big threat if the ground softens: he has put two wins together, back to back, before now.

8.00 Goodwood Party Line has travelled further in a week than one of those out-of-work celebs doing a TV train-journey series (yawn); he was in Edinburgh on Saturday, and now he’s down in deepest Sussex, getting weight from most for a trainer who loves to win at this track.

BET 6.6pts win ATHENIAN and 3.2pts win (stakes saver) ISOLA VERDE (2.10 Newmarket)
BET 4.8pts win JUNGLE BEAT and 2.2pts win (stakes saver) THOMAS CHIPPENDALE (4.30 Newmarket)
BET 7.4pts win INDIAN JACK and 1.7pts win (stakes saver) MAKING EYES (7.45 Doncaster)
BET 6pts win (nap) PARTY LINE (8.00 Goodwood)

* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points (unless otherwise stated) so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken at the time.

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