DAQMAN SINKS MAYBE AND TIMEPIECE IN DARING LAYS: Daqman opposed two hot favourites at Newmarket yesterday, Timepiece (unplaced 15-8) and Maybe (3rd 13-8), to take his current lays sequence to 10 out of 12 (and 22 from the last 26).

PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT: NOW FOR THE NAP: The 10 winning lays from 12 make a profit of 65 points; his jackpot bets are up 192 points; and his Horses To Follow are in front, thanks to a 7-2 winner on Saturday. Today the nap returns.

We learned very little yesterday. Except that Homecoming Queen (‘a little madam,’ quote, unquote, her jockey) can do it when she wants to, particularly against a bunch of fillies who largely looked in need of the race and some sunshine.

All winners by a street on soft ground are suspect – particularly when already known to be temperamental – until they race on soft ground again.

With euphemism and semantics in the manner of of British Rail’s famous ‘different kind of snow’, the Newmarket clerk of the course said slow times on Saturday weren’t because the course was ‘soft’ – he returned ‘good to soft’ – but because the ground was ‘unassisting.’

I find this attitude ‘unassisting’ to punters: we need a proper going-stick measure race by race on every track, with sectional timing (and, while you’re at it, can we please do something about the sticky-tape start to the Grand National).

As for Camelot, we are now in the two biggest weeks of his life without him setting foot on a racecourse: the trials this week at Chester, then at Leopardstown and York, which will tell us whether this year’s Derby field is quality or a timid procession behind him.

I’m keen to see Apollo and Ernest Hemingway in the Leopardstown Derby trial next Sunday or in the Dante at York. Both are stablemates of Camelot and the way the trials are cutting up already, and the way the rain keeps belting down, O’Brien may turn the Classic season into his personal photo-album.

There is one other yard still to play any cards from a seemingly massive hand, but clearly now targeting the Dante, hoping for a better surface: Godolphin have both Swedish Sailor and Mandaean headed for York, and at this stage their trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni seems Ballydoyle’s only threat.

Before I leave yesterday’s results, keep on the right side of Tannery; it was interesting to see the three-year-olds dominate the older horses (in this case filly against mares) in the Listed she won at Gowran Park.

Again, judgment has to be qualified by the slow time on soft-heavy ground but she is on the upgrade, stepping out of handicap company, has learned her trade well under David Wachman and, given her conditions again, could continue to surprise. Meanwhile, the search is on for a winning nap among the dross of English weekday racing:

Bath: The best that can be offered is a class-4 stayers’ handicap (3.10): Captain Sharpe and Gilded Age are both in form but Saborido and L Frank Baum are the Bath winners.

The race is muddied in more ways than one: I’m talking about Bernard Llewellyn’s running three. In the end, I decided Saborido – last year’s winner – had obviously targeted the race and 5.1 offers on BETDAQ were fair.

Beverley: The low-draw bias could help in the two best races (still only class 4) at 3.25 and 4.00, but first I fancied a pop at the sprint (2.55), on the grounds that three of the stables – those of Dascombe, Spearing and Tinkler – are on the cold list.

If I also delete the wide draws, then the 4.4 BETDAQ offers about Towbee are not so bad for a softish-ground winner already this season.

Those over the age of five struggle to contain the improvers of a younger age and, though he is in and out, Smart Step (3.25) has both youth and the draw on his side: 7.2 allows for his idiosyncracies.

Kempton: William Muir, who sneaked the Jubilee Handicap (4.50) last year at 14-1, has a similar chance today, with Cruiser, trading at 17.0 on BETDAQ at the time of writing.

That’s a massive price for an animal beaten only two lengths in the Britannia at Royal Ascot, with one of today’s favourites, Ashav, only 12th that day.

Windsor: For the nap I choose the well-regarded recent Wolver winner Kuda Huraa (5.35): this Montjeu seems sure to step up in this, his first handicap, as Jamie Spencer’s only mount after his card of booked rides at Kempton.

BET 5.8pts win TOWBEE (2.55 Beverley)
BET 4.8pts win SABORIDO (3.10 Bath)
BET 3.2pts win SMART STEP (3.25 Beverley)
BET 1.25pts win and place CRUISER (4.50 Kempton)
BET 7pts win (nap) KUDA HURAA (5.35 Windsor

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