12.0 OFFERS IN ZETLAND GOLD CUP WERE ‘GIVING MONEY AWAY’: Daqman rates the Redcar favourite highly for the Bank Holiday feature, the Zetland Gold Cup, but reckons 12.0 morning offers about one of the outsiders ‘could be giving money away.’

Form is underworld slang meaning you have a history of crime. Some of the 2012 Classics have form. Yesterday’s French Derby scrum was nothing short of criminal, and those punters who apply normal racing-form to it will be handing over their money for the rest of the season.

The Oaks also had form, with The Fugue clearly robbed of success, and the 2,000 Guineas had form: all bar one or two that ran behind Camelot were thieves, taking your money then (and since) without so much as a decent run to offer you.

The Derby, in the words of Lester Piggott, was also ‘a weak race’ (quote unquote, the Racing Post) and we say it every time there is a wet Spring: it is a crime to run the Classics so early when so few horses are ready.

Racing has been fortunate to emerge from these Fred Karnos for three-year-olds with at least one star: Camelot is clearly a very high-class horse, despite the bad year, despite the hype.

The question now is: will it enhance his value if he takes in the old fashioned Triple Crown finale of the Doncaster St Leger, or should he try to emulate the modern equine hero and take in the Arc?

Walter Swinburn says ‘there’s more chance of finding Lord Lucan’ than for Camelot to run in the Leger, but it depends how easy – how many he frightens off – races like the Irish Derby and King George will be, before he can be committed to any late-season race. The Leger could be the easiest of them all.

And, with the barging matches at Longchamp and Chantilly currently in their minds, Ballydoyle must be thinking that, with all the hype already suggesting that it would crown Camelot ‘best since Nijinsky’, going for the Doncaster race looks a very comfortable retirement route (and 3-1 on to win it, say some bookies).

I will be revising my list of horses to follow tomorrow, with Royal Ascot in mind, hoping to find those with genuine racing form not the criminal form of wallet theft.

Meanwhile, back at Redcar camp, there’s a bit of Dad’s Army about the Zetland Gold Cup: 9 years out of 10 it’s won by horses aged four to 6, which would seem to eliminate four old boys; equally, those high in the ranks always win.

Those below 8st 12lb have a dismal record (nothing to their name in the last decade, in fact), and Eltheeb’s prominence in the market is due to noble early-season efforts when other horses weren’t that fit, and to the presence in the saddle of one, Mickael Barzalona.

In fact, those ‘noble efforts’ (without winning, mark you) have done damage: they’ve shot him up 10lb above his last winning form, which was in class-5.

It’s possible, but hard to accept, that he is progressing up the ladder at age five to be able to score three grades and 10lb higher.

If only some of those deletions are correct, I have taken the clouds away from a nice enough 109% Betdaq ‘book’ of offers, and I’m now basking in the sunshine of a punter-friendly underround.

Con Artist is another older horse asked to improve (up 7lb on his sole success in the last year), carrying top weight and first run back for a stable not pulling up many trees this season so far.

I think Godolphin will change all that, and one of their big-name horses for the next few months will be a star of my horses-to-follow list. But that’s for tomorrow.

With Eltheeb, Con Artist and the seven-year-old Sirvino the next three in the betting – easy to back at that – behind the favourite, Danadana, his 3.05 looks like extremely good value.

Danadana is still ‘dark’, unexposed at age four after only seven races in his life, and he did the job well enough for Kieren Fallon over 19 others at Newmarket in May on today’s kind of surface.

Fork Handles is the ‘wrong’ price – offered at 12.0 as I write – if you look at his firm-ground form (50% win and place record) and delete his runs on soft.

His trainer, Mick Channon (one of those most vociferous against how early the premier Classics are run) is having a tremendous year, notably with Samitar and Laugh Out Loud, and jockey Martin Harley is one of the finds of the season so far.

Fork Handles is unpenalised for a neck defeat at this class-2 level at Kempton (Sirvino, in front of him in today’s betting, was only 10th that day), and 12.0 could be giving money away.

Navajo Chief is coming down the weights but normally needs some cut in the ground; Mirrored has only ever won first time up in recent times, and I can’t fancy any of the rest: nothing else lurking with criminal intent.

BET 3.5pts win GOLDREAM (2.30 Leicester)
BET 4pts win AHAALY (3.00 Naas)
WIN-25 JACKPOT: BET 12pts win DANADANA and 2.2pts win FORK HANDLES (3.55 Redcar)
BET 10pts win (nap) SKY LANTERN (4.45 Naas)
BET 2.3pts win MIAMI GATOR (5.15 Carlisle)
BANK HOLIDAY DAQ MULTIPLES: BET 4 x 1pt win trebles and 1pt win accumulator: Jawhary (2.20 Towcester), Kasbadali (3.25 Towcester), Sky Lantern (4.45 Naas), Athenian (5.00 Chepstow)

* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points (unless otherwise stated or in Daq Multiples) so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken for a win bet at the time of writing.

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