FOUR WINNING DAYS OUT OF FIVE AS DAQMAN STEPS UP: Smart Step (WON 5-1) figured prominently in Daqman’s fourth winning day out of five yesterday to take his profit on the week to 73 points. Now for Frankel and Champions Day.
7.8 BETDAQ-VALUE WINS AT EVEN MONEY: But his value hit yesterday was the 7.8 taken early doors about the Paul Hanagan gamble Dream The Blues (WON evens).
10 WINNING LAYS OUT OF 11: He will be starting a new series of lays today after his latest sequence – 10 in a row – was blighted last weekend.
WHO ELSE KNEW? Daqman said on Tuesday: My betting over the whips rule: Evens a jockeys’ strike, 6-4 a High Court action. Let’s hope it’s settled quickly but the omens are bad for the rider of one of the Saturday superstars, So You Think.
Let the horses do the talking. Though, not for the first time, the sport’s authorities have made themselves the laughing stock of the world, our racing stands up to be counted by great thoroughbreds such as Frankel.
Will the Stewards please have Saturday off and let owners, trainers, jockeys, punters, vets, farriers and stalls-handlers get on with it and have a nice day. You really don’t matter.
But, if the witch-hunt continues today, the whips row could reach a sensational climax in the Champion Stakes.
1.50 Ascot (Long Distance Cup) Though it seems to be between the Ascot Gold Cup one-two, Fame And Glory and Opinion Poll, three-year-olds have won two of the last four runnings of what used to be called the Jockey Club Cup, and the big two have something to prove.
Fame And Glory hasn’t been the same horse since his exertions in taking the gold, and Opinion Poll has only just now been beaten by a three-year-old in the Doncaster Cup.
With Chiberta King in the field, we can expert a decent tempo. It should suit Darley Sun but there’s very little between him and Chiberta King, who is held by Times Up on backend form here last year, when Nehaam – second in this in 2009 – finished third.
So what about the three-year–olds, both trained by Mark Johnston? Colour Vision, third in the Cesarewitch, looked strong at the 2m point in that race. It’s a matter of whether the grey came out of it well and didn’t leave today’s prize behind in that last grinding quarter-mile.
Eternal Heart hasn’t really built on his Queens Vase third but that was his only race over 2m until today. His 47.0 this morning suggests that he is intended to take some sting out of them on Colour Vision’s behalf.
I’m not buying into the trio at the front of the market at 3.55, 4.2 and 4.5 – no way – so I’ll turn up the contrast (15.5 this morning) and have a bit of Colour Vision each way.
2.25 Ascot (Sprint) It’s four-year-olds 4, three-year-olds 4 in this former Diadem Stakes. The honours are even in the last nine years, with just the one older horse getting a look-in.
The last eight favourites have all been beaten and Wokingham winner turned Pattern protagonist Deacon Blues is edged out narrowly in the ratings by Moonlight Cloud.
The French filly has her first test away from home and without the cut in the ground that she has encountered at Longchamp or Deauville, but she’s long been regarded a Frankel-type phenomenon by Freddie Head.
As a Group-1 winner, Society Rock is the only other horse in the race who could possibly stand up to the big two, and he doesn’t carry a penalty for his Jubilee win.
But he was slammed four lengths by Moonlight Cloud at Deauville on soft and today’s surface would have to make at least 8lb difference: at 4.5 Moonlight Cloud against 7.0 Society Rock, it’s no contest for value with Deacon Blues the saver at 3.81, as I write.
3.00 Ascot (Fillies’ And Mares’ Stakes) Crystal Capella, now six, has won this twice but three-year-olds are 27-7 up on older horses on the stats.
On collateral form this season, Gertrude Bell comes out on top, having beaten Vita Nova in the Lancashire Oaks before that one finished in front of Crystal Capella and Banimpire at York and after she split Ferdoos and Meeznah at Haydock.
Vita Nova’s saddle slipped in the Lancashire Oaks but I’m reliably informed that Gertrude Bell (only two runs this season) has improved at home and been saved up for this.
There is very little as it stands between Ferdoos (not seen since the Spring), Vita Nova and Gertrude Bell but there’s a lot between them in the market, with Gertrude Bell a stunning 13.0.
However, let’s not forget those three-year-olds: if Dancing Rain (6.6) is let loose, and they don’t stay close to her, the Epsom Oaks winner could get away from them as she did again in the German Oaks.
3.35 Ascot (Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes) Three-year-olds going for a four-timer have Frankel on their side. Is this a QE-2 cruise?
The ratings say he only has to go down and come back again: he’s beaten Excelebration twice, once by four lengths, and he has held Dubawi Gold a good six lengths.
Frankel had five lengths to spare over Canford Cliffs and the stablemate, Dick Turpin, who runs here, was a similar amount inferior to Canford on the ratings. Bullet Train is in there as a pacemaker, so that Frankel’s kind of action is a certainty. But just how good is the filly, Immortal Verse?
Well, a line through Goldikova says she was inferior to the now-retired Canford Cliffs. The snags for assessing her is that she’s had only seven races in her life and been confined to events with cut in the ground.
As a Pivotal that would be about right and we haven’t much to go on with the dam (by Sadlers Wells), though she has had at least one winner on firm ground.
Chapter and Verse, there’s not enough strength in her, even at 8.8, to consider opposing Frankel.
4.10 Ascot (Champion Stakes) If the Stewards continue to apply their pernicious whip rules in this race, Ryan Moore won’t see out the season.
He’ll be sent to the sin bin for sure should So You think need the same galvanizing rides that have brought him the Eclipse, the Irish Champion and the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
In any case, I cannot see the 3.5 to 7.8 difference between him and Nathaniel this morning. On watered ground, receiving 5lb, the King George winner must be the bet of the day at those offers, with the potential to improve again in only his fifth race of the season.
The new Ascot terrain has always looked lush, with a good covering of grass, and I cannot imagine the ground is firm enough for John Gosden to pull him out.
4.45 Ascot (Future Stars Apprentice) It’s hard to believe that – win or lose – Pricewise has been lured into the bookies’ trap and dedicated most of his day’s stake to a 29-runner boys’ race, posing as worthy of this day under a ‘future stars’ banner.
Only exchange betting will force the overrounds down nearer the time of the race. Betdaq will already allow me the best early-doors pound on Ascot lover, Noble Citizen (17.5).
BET 1.3pts win and place COLOUR VISION (1.50 Ascot)
BET 6.25pts win MOONLIGHT CLOUD and 1.6pts win (stakes saver) DEACON BLUES (2.25 Ascot)
BET 3.5pts win DANCING RAIN and 1.6pts win GERTRUDE BELL (3.00 Ascot)
LAY to win 10pts SO YOU THINK and BET 2.9pts win (nap) NATHANIEL (4.10 Ascot)
BET 1.2pts win and place NOBLE CITIZEN (4.45 Ascot)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 2pts win treble Moonlight Cloud (2.25 Ascot), Frankel (3.35 Ascot) and Nathaniel (4.10 Ascot)
Did you know that as well as checking the realtime prices on BETDAQ below – you can also log into your account and place your bets directly into BETDAQ from BETDAQ TIPS.