13-1 ARC DAY WINNER: Most of Daqman’s Sunday in Paris was paid for yesterday when he sussed out Silasol (WON 133-10) in the Marcel Boussac but the rest was heartbreak, with Mayson beaten in the final strides, and tipping three of the first six home in the Arc without money to come.

7.8 NAP AT WOLVERHAMPTON: Daqman spots a 9.8 BETDAQ offer in the race which launched Mince at Pontefract last year. His nap, at Wolverhampton, is first time in a hood at 7.8.

Who is he kidding and why? Aidan O’Brien is telling an almost Arthurian romance of Camelot – ‘my best horse ever’ – even after dismal defeats in the St Leger and in yesterday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

You’d think the colt’s stud sheet was empty and he needed talking up, but the word is that the Montjeu colt stays in training next year. Despite his Guineas and Derby success, the end of term report has to be: must do better.

The colts he beat in the 2,000 at Newmarket were French Fifteen (10th in the French Derby), Hermival (6th Irish 2,000), Trumpet Major (10th Irish 2,000; won a Group 3) and Coupe de Ville (7th French Guineas). The first eight home have a 2-23 record since that day. All the Epsom Derby runners, including Camelot: 2-18.

As the Racing Post analysis of the Arc puts it this morning: ‘Masterstroke, successful in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville, fared best of a below-par bunch of 3yos.’

Maybe Aidan knows from his own 2012 juveniles that next year’s three-year-olds are also likely to be a modest bunch!

Masterstroke will be there again. ‘He’s a nice horse for next year,’ (quote unquote Simon Crisford for Godolphin). Yes, Simon, but after you’ve used him up at Meydan next Spring, how many times will we see him?

Trainer Matthieu Palussiere has a novel idea: ‘The ground might have been a factor yesterday.’ But Paul Cole spotted the real ‘result’ in the Arc: Olivier Peslier and Christophe Soumillon are so good on their home turf that they took seven lengths out of the field.

I factored in the winner, Solemia, for draw, going and jockey in my simplistic algorithm in the Saturday column, but then got sucked into backing the three-year-olds. Aidan is not the only Sir Sillyhead round the table.

And the real story for 2013? The Japanese, who have slowly but surely, got within a head (2010 Arc) and a neck (Orfevre yesterday) of stealing Europe’s clothes, will win one of the Classics in England, Ireland or France.

Remember Orfevre was their Triple Crown winner where Camelot’s bid for the treble failed, and Orfevre almost added the Euro-crown, too, with Camelot not seen with a chance. That’s how good their Classics are these days.

At Wolverhampton, first time in a hood Shahzan (4.30), 7.8 on BETDAQ, is better than the bare form. A great price considering he appears to have only Delft to beat. The rest from the front of the forecast market are drfiters, as I write.

The Pontefract card today has two class-3 races. I shall be opposing Fire Ship (3.10): he’s up in class, up another 8lb and going ‘the wrong way round’ (all his success has come right-handed).

He’s the most napped horse because of his eight-lengths Windsor win so should end up short. But a better key to his chances may be that he must face class-2 winner Ardmay on 16lb worse terms.

The race is usually won by a rank outsider (11-1, 14-1 twice, 16-1 and 25-1 twice in the last nine seasons) but for my main bet in the race I’m going to say Hi There (5.3 on BETDAQ this morning), another easy winner last time out but getting nearly a stone from Fire Ship.

Back to the what-might-have-been: I opposed Mince on Saturday, after she won me two big races this season; I thought she might have had enough.

Mince won the class-4 nursery (2.40) on this day last season but who would have known that she would end up the main course in a Group race.

She had stall one at Ponty last year, and a low draw certainly seems helpful on this course: they came out of 6, 2, 3 in three of the four previous years. CD winner on firm Kamchatka (stall 6) may not be inconvenienced by softer ground, according to his breeding: 9.8 on BETDAQ. That’s more good value today.

BET 2.2pts win KAMCHATKA (2.40 Pontefract)
LAY 10pts FIRE SHIP and BET: 4.6pts win HI THERE and 0.8pts win and place ARDMAY (3.10 Pontefract)
BET 2.9pts win (nap) SHAHZAN (4.30 Wolverhampton)

* Daqman’s bets are staked to win 20 points, so you can work out the offers taken (20 divided by stake).

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