DREAM OF AN ARC DOUBLE: Daqman has taken some 6.2 last year’s winner Danedream for Sunday’s Arc de Triomphe, an early position on a race which he will preview fully on Thursday.

9.2 THE ‘IRON’ HORSE: He celebrates the Ryder Cup victory by taking Nine Iron at 9.2 to beat the handicapper, who has the nursery runners lined up on the green at Bath.

Backing the Arc favourite ante-post seems highly unprofessional. The pro-punters’ job is generally to beat the favourite, and the tipsters’ task with less than a week to go is surely to find value in the double-figure trades.

But 6.2 Danedream for next Sunday’s Arc De Triomphe on BETDAQ, compared with 7-2 and 4-1 with bookmakers, is my first position on the race.

Danedream would be the first back-to-back Arc winner since a legendary horse called Ribot (1955-56) and an equally legendary trainer-jockey combination, Vincent O’Brien and Lester Piggott (Alleged 1977-78).

There are bigger discrepancies between BETDAQ and the bookies. Meandre, for instance, is a mean looking 10-1 with Ladbrokes but 25.0 on the Daq, at the time of writing.

The Leger flop Camelot is down to only 7-2 on Boylesports, and 9-2 with the Tote and with bedfellow Betfred, but 10.0 on BETDAQ. Last year’s runner-up Shareta is 6-1 with Sunderlands but 11.0 on the Daq. In other words, for fixed-odds punters: situation normal, all tucked up.

But Danedream has already proved superior to Meandre, Nathaniel, Sea Moon and Shareta, and last year’s five-lengths winner seemingly has only one or two new boys on the block to beat, like Prix Foy winner Orfevre.

Today Orfevre’s trainer tells the trade paper that he is less optimistic now than before the Foy. The horse needed to beat Meandre by further than a length.

That leaves French Derby winner, Saonois, who won the Niel on the same day Orfevre took the Foy. Only very soft ground in May and lack of peak fitness on the debut in February has stopped Saonois chalking up eight in a row.

In the Niel, he beat the Aga Khan’s Arc hope Bayrir, winner of the Grade-1 Secretariat at Arlington Park, but Bayrir beat a maiden second home at Arlington, and Saonois doesn’t like soft ground. Rain is forecast for three days running – tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday – in Paris.

On Thursday, I shall mark each horse from the stats in my usual ABC style, and match them to the potential going conditions and, at the weekend, the dreaded draw will then affect my final verdict.

But, knowing what we know now, Danedream is – for once in their lives – about right with the bookies, in my opinion. That makes the 6.2 a dream!

Meanwhile, looking to next year’s Classics, Viztoria impressed Johnny Murtagh with a second seven-lengths-plus win in a bog at The Curragh.

Layers wanted to get her – me included – after her two and a half months’ absence following a solitary success on heavy ground. But it came up heavy again, and she must be among few horses to win by seven and a half lengths twice in succession at odds against.

To my mind, Battle Of Marengo is a better bet for the horses-to-follow list, since he was stepping up from a Listed to the Group-2 Beresford and has now won on good, good to soft and heavy, potentially the mark of a good horse.

I shall want to get Viztoria on a different surface – she’s almost sure to be odds on in a better race next time out – to rake some of my lays chips back. Shamrock, you have been warned!

Meanwhile, Mark Johnston takes two down to Bath, poised on a total of 199 winners, the brink of the double century, so the maths are tight if he is to crack his best ever 221 in 2009.

It’s hard to fancy his turf maiden Danube River (3.50), so maybe Sir Frank Morgan (2.50) is intended to win on the debut but 66% of the field are experienced animals and Godolphin have a yet more interesting newcomer, a New Approach (out of Headline), cleverly called Newsreader, of which there are very strong gallops reports.

Mick Channon, who runs Esteaming, could turn one up at a price in the opening nursery: Nine Iron (2.20), a topical Ryder Cup tip, is first time in a handicap, first run after being gelded and 9.2 on BETDAQ, as I write.

If the form of the race won by Felix Fabula from Stiff Upper Lip (Heliconia fourth) is faithfully repeated at the revised weights they should finish in line, but Nine Iron was in front of Heliconia at Epsom earlier.

A big thankyou for a marvelous Cambridgeshire training feat by Marcus Tregoning. I think we can afford to spend a pound of the winnings win and place on 7.6 offer Miss Blakeney (4.20) from the same stable.

Tregoning is now 12 out of 14 in the frame for five wins in 10 days. Only John Gosden can currently best that, with 20 from 25, nine of them winners. So we need a saver on Red Hand, all the rage this morning at 3.15 favourite.

The jumps yards in form are Paul Nicholls and Nigel Twiston-Davies in England, Mouse Morris and Willie Mullins in Ireland.

‘Twiston’ makes it hard on the punter by having a runner in every race at Newton Abbot but it’s his opening ‘match’ with Nicholls that has punters piling on the BETDAQ orange.

Though the list of offers has a total probability of a punter-friendly 106%, The New One (2.00) is odds on. I’ll have a bit of Nicholls’ Roger Beantown, a perfect win and place at 6.2 in a race where they offer 26.0 bar three.

But I’ll have more than one bet running for me by doubling The New One with Mouse Morris’s prolific Baily Green (6.05 Roscommon).

BET 3.8pts win and place ROGER BEANTOWN (2.00 Newton Abbot)
BET 2.4pts win and place NINE IRON (2.20 Bath)
BET 8pts win (nap) NEWSREADER and 1.6pts win (stakes saver) SIR FRANK MORGAN (2.50 Bath)
BET 3pts win and place MISS BLAKENEY, and 2.7pts win (stakes saver) RED HAND (4.20 Bath)
DAQ MULTIPLES: BET 3pts win double THE NEW ONE (2.00 Newton Abbot) and BAILY GREEN (6.05 Roscommon)
ANTE-POST: WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 5.7pts win DANEDREAM (Arc De Triomphe, Longchamp, Sunday)

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