SIX LAYS UP OUT OF SEVEN: Daqman is on a roll with his lays: six out of seven now, following Deliberation (unplaced 9-4 favourite) at Hamilton yesterday after Labarinto (unplaced 7-2 favourite) at Newbury on Saturday. Look out for more lays this week when prices are right.

Have I got the right race? I look at the papers and trade-paper websites this morning and they tell me most punters votes for Saturday’s Cambridgeshire have been cast for Labarinto and that one of the latest gambles for the race is Proponent.

I can only assume that the bookies are having us on, as ever. Labarinto flopped – not for the first time – at Newbury at the weekend and Proponent has an immense task off 100.

Not only has Proponent, now aged seven, never won off 100, he’s never even raced off 100, and only one seven-year-old has taken the big handicap since the Liberals were last in power (I use the word ‘power’ loosely; oh, and I use the word ‘Liberals’ loosely, too).

In fact, whenever I see shorteners with the bookies these days, I think: that’s a loser then; they’re trying to attract mug money.

You would think, wouldn’t you, that punters would hear the ding-ding of alarm bells if something shortens to a price which reduces their return and takes a horse out of the viable-betting bracket called ‘value.’

But it’s a common human failing to follow where others lead, and the bookies just love it. Punters don’t go into betting shops to win money; they go to assimilate.

As well as Proponent this morning, they are raving Dare To Dance. Now this one should still be on the upgrade after only three runs but be warned that Jeremy Noseda prepares his horses at home; the track is not where he trains his animals.

Secondly, the horse that the three-year-old Dare to beat last time out, Kirthill, is a class-3 beast, having failed twice to step up a grade to class 2 (behind Classic Punch then Taqleed).

Dare To Dance is down to 9-2 with Corals even before the decs are known. Yes, five horses since 1992 have won at a similar price but four of them as gambles on the day. The money is not down on Dare To Dance. It’s simply a coward’s price and a lure to the sheep.

You get coward’s prices every day – yesterday it was Deliberation – and our job is to have the guts to seek them out and lay them. I’ll be first in the queue to lay Dare To Dance but Betdaq backers and layers are not the same people as betting-shop mugs, so I don’t think I’ll be accommodated at short enough offers. Let me explain.

I’ve had six lays up out of seven. My long-term fan club, which meets in a phone box, will know that my best effort was 14 lays in a row, but they will also know that, at favourites’ prices, you need 76% success to level stakes to build up a worthwhile bank.

Once you get around 85%, as I have done with six out of seven, you can allow yourself a bit more risk, but it remains the case that the best areas for lays are where punters follow like sheep (favourites and ‘gambles’) and where coward’s prices are being offered.

False favourites in lower-class races (class 5 and 6) are often winners last time out, if only because horses at these levels are rarely capable of successive wins, particularly in sprints, where they take turns, governed by a range of very few pounds around their optimum winning weight.

In today’s low-class races, the last six form figures for each horse show 45 wins (not including last time out), with only four of the horses able to do a repeat, i.e. recording back-to-back success. That represents a 91% strike rate if you had laid them all in the run after the win.

So get out on the floor and see what’s on offer in the market place. Do you dare to dance? If so, make sure you are dancing to your own tune.

BET 4.5pts win (nap) APPEAL (3.40 Hamilton)
BET 2.5pts win SOHRAAB (3.50 Leicester)
BET 3.3pts win CAPTAIN SCOOBY (4.40 Hamilton)
BET 4.4pts win RUSSIAN AFFAIR (5.20 Leicester)