5-2 NAP AND NEWMARKET DOUBLE UP: There are 34.0, 30.0 and 15.0 bets today for Daqman, who landed his nap yesterday, Fistral Beach (WON 5-2), and also pulled off a Newmarket double with Hawaafez (WON 7-2) and Gulf Of Naples (WON 9-4).
3.00 Ascot A winner over the age of six has never happened in this race; only one has carried more than 11st 5lb, and Topolski has to give weight all round.
Of the bottom horses, Elsafeer has been on the go a long time and A Media Luz needs to have improved but Baracas is better than the bare form and stays further; could use his light weight to try to run them ragged: 30.0 is tempting each way.
Similarly, Via Galilei has clearly been primed for this and 10.0 will look like a gift when the money comes. Kumbeshwar never runs a bad race, and won’t run one today, but four-year-olds have managed to take this only once in the last decade and that winner had 5lb less.
Kumbeshwar and Topolski are really here to ready themselves for the Greatwood Hurdle, so I would concentrate on the bottom half of the handicap, if I were you.
3.15 Newmarket Three-year-olds have won three times in five years, and the old Barry Hills yard, now in the care of Charles, loves to win at HQ.
Add those facts together and the 15.0 Make A Dance looks a stand-out offer this morning about a filly who was backed ante-post for the 1,000 Guineas.
3.20 Wetherby (Charlie Hall) Nacarat bids for back-to-back wins against the formidable opposition of Diamond Harry, Poquelin and Time For Rupert but with conditions on his side.
Since this is an experimental trip for Poquelin, since Chicago Grey is on a long trajectory to the Grand National, and with Time For Rupert’s health under the microscope, Hennessy winner Diamond Harry just gets my vote over Nacarat
3.40 Ascot (Gold Cup) A favourite has not won this since Martin Pipe farmed the race but it’s difficult to see beyond five at the front of the market.
Muirhead was impressive when easily holding off Bideford Legend last time but, then, Charles Byrnes gelding, who reopposes here, is notoriously one paced.
Quinz and Balthazar King look a formidable Philip Hobbs team, with this great trainer already in terrific form, having taken the big race at Chepstow last Saturday with handicap-snip Arthurian Legend.
Quinz is 9lb higher than for his Racing Post Chase win in February, and has 23lb more than for his CD success at the November meeting last year when so impressively slamming Far More Serious 14 lengths.
He hit the wall in the Grand National but will have had treatment since for breaking blood vessels. He goes well fresh and should still be on the upgrade at age seven.
Balthazar King has his ground and 11lb over his stablemate, Quinz. He also has the benefit of a run and a good one at that, showing he, too, is on the up and up.
Officially, he has only 2lb more than when he was novice chasing but it’s a big ask for a horse who has been winning small-field races from the front.
Promising Anshan didn’t get a ‘mench’ in Paul Nicholls’ stable tour and comments this morning on a certain exchange site are bland.
I began this summary by naming five and harking back to Martin Pipe. But don’t be surprised to see son David’s Gentle Ranger clipped considerably from the 34.0 offers this morning, and potentially capable of hitting them all for six.
A much better horse than appears in his last season’s form figures, he goes well fresh and – as he stays further – I expect to see them make plenty of use of him. So it’s top and bottom weights for me, Quinz and Gentle Ranger.
4.25 Newmarket Three-year-olds are on a hat-trick mission after two good winners, Laaheb and then Timepiece for Sir Henry Cecil, who runs an older horse, Jet Away, this afternoon.
Jet Away is the only danger that I can see to Dux Scholar, dropped from two fine efforts in Group 3, and looking too good for this field yet not even favourite. That’s called value.
BET 2.2pts win VIA GALILEI and 1.5pts win and place BARACAS (3.00 Ascot)
BET 1.4pts win and place MAKE A DANCE (3.15 Newmarket)
BET 2.3pts win QUINZ and 0.6pts win and place GENTLE RANGER (3.40 Ascot)
BET 7pts win (nap) DUX SCHOLAR (4.25 Newmarket)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 2pts win double Dux Scholar (4.25 Newmarket) and Diamond Harry (3.20 Wetherby)
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.