CAMELOT: LAY OR LAY-DOWN? JACKPOT-KING DAQMAN’S VERDICT: Daqman landed 21 jackpot bets in the jumps campaign and has had 20 successful lays from the last 23. Whichever way he jumps with Camelot, you win with Daqman in the long run. Stay with him for a magic weekend: as well as the 2,000 Guineas, there’s the Kentucky Derby tonight and the 1,000 tomorrow.

Camelot has to be opposed. I am well in front – 20 up out of the last 23 lays – and I can afford it. The facts and figures suggest he is an automatic choice to bet against, though – as the saying goes – Camelot doesn’t know that, and he could be the exception.

His sire, Montjeu, is 0-33 with three-year-olds running over a mile or less in this country; the top juvenile race Camelot won, the Racing Post Trophy, is a Guineas floperoo, with the likes of Crowded House, St Nicholas Abbey and Casamento wallet-wasters.

The Racing Post race hasn’t produced the Newmarket winner since 1972, and no mile-only trialist has won since 1986, when Dancing Brave was fortunate to come up against a moderate bunch.

Camelot is not certain to like the ground, as his rider has confessed to the Press; and – in a notoriously bad Spring – horses that have already raced have a big advantage.

Finally, a rain-soaked Rowley Mile usually creates a draw bias, and we have no way of knowing where that bias is until the race itself, since the first two events on the card won‘t tell us much, as they are not on the straight mile. So no value in short-priced horses until we do know.

2.00 Newmarket: Breaking the 9st barrier has happened only once in the decade and is unlikely today, given the state of the ground. Four-year-olds are four out of five.

Danadana is being put up as a horse to follow by one or two shrewdies and Luca Cumani has struck form this week with two winners out of four.

Kieren Fallon sticks with Newbury Spring Cup runner-up Fury but that helps me get 10.5 on BETDAQ about Danadana, who won first time out last season and swerves Chester for this.

He has so far shown he is a horse without a trip but this 1m 1f Cambridgeshire-course oddity could be the right one; you never know with cunning Luca, he might be thinking of that race already. You heard it here first!

2.30 Newmarket (Jockey Club Stakes): The globetrotting Dunaden has to give the years and the weight away, but the Melbourne Cup winner had a fantastic 2011 and supporters of the Pricewise Guineas horse, Hermival, will be looking for some stable form from him.

Similarly, Top Offer punters will want a good run from Al Kazeem, but he seems to be a horse who wants all his own way.

More likely to break into Group form is Fiorente, given Sir Michael Stoute’s skill with older horses and the colt’s ambitions for the Eclipse.

But, betting for right now, the one at the right age who has already done it in Group 1, and on the soft at that, it has to be Grand Prix winner Meandre, a purposeful foray by Andre Fabre on a day he doesn’t have a Guineas runner.

3.10 Newmarket (2,000 Guineas): The Guineas is almost always (11 out of 12) won by a Group-placed juvenile, which removes eight runners from the field, including Top Offer.

Top Offer would be a rare winner indeed after just one run and with his trainer, Roger Charlton, describing the area where his gallops are as a ‘paddy field.’ That roughly translates as ‘Top Offer won’t be ready.’

John Oxx also seems worried about Born To Sea: when he was outgunned by Nephrite at Leopardstown in October, Oxx said that the colt was unable to act on the soft ground.

What if Power is a better bet for Ballydoyle than Camelot? While Ladbrokes, who seem to know the time of day in the O’Brien camp, are firm on Camelot, they have been giving Power away all week.

Fencing ‘could be anything’ but he missed the Craven with a foot problem and John Gosden is saying he’ll be a better horse in the Dante, and the colt languished at 46.0 on BETDAQ until Thursday’s declarations, and is still easy to back at 29.0 this morning, as I write.

Richard Hannon trained Trumpet Major to win the Craven but is now saying ‘don’t forget Bronterre’: sorry, Richard, but the chances of your having another Canford Cliffs and Dick Turpin situation are remote.

It leaves me to confirm my faith in Abtaal. That colt beat compatriot French Fifteen last year, and would have beaten him again in the Prix Djebel but was not cherry-ripe and the race was only 7f.

The third, Hermival, ran well as a 15-1 shot, but is another, like Camelot, Top Offer and Fencing who look stayers in the making. Related to hurdlers and a 1m 4f Group-3 winner, he is unlikely to have the class or the pace for this.

Of those who will get further, Camelot is a stand-out on overall form and, in what looks a weak Guineas for milers, I can see him running into the frame: 1 Abtaal, 2 Trumpet Major, 3 Camelot.

3.45 Newmarket (Palace House Stakes): Richard Fahey warned before Mayson’s Abernant romp that we hadn’t seen the best of the Invincible Spirit colt, and two Abernant winners out of two have taken the Palace House this century. Mayson is 5.7 on BETDAQ as I write.

It’s probably advisable to have one running for you on the other side of the stalls and, though Margot Did (9.0 this morning) failed to make music on a sounder surface in Meydan, Hayley Turner got a tune out of her on the soft in the Nunthorpe when the pair got their own way; today’s the day for doing that again, when so many runners will need this as a rehearsal and ‘Margot’ is fit from Meydan.

8.00 Doncaster: The getting-out stakes in UK, if you need to buy your money back. The horse is Sentaril, with Johnny Murtagh flying up for the one Town Moor ride after his assignments at Newmarket.

Sentaril will be the third leg of my treble, involving Meandre and Vita Nova (2.15 Goodwood), a soft-ground lover and first-time winner for Sir Hency Cecil, who he was unlucky not to win the Lancashire Oaks with her.

11.24 Churchill Downs (Kentucky Derby): I named the four key races for this in my ABC guide: Creative Cause has form, or collateral form, in two of them in that he beat subsequent Arkansas Derby winner, Bodemeister, at Santa Anita and he was only just nosed out in the Derby on the same California track.

Take Charge Indy is a late developer who won the Florida Derby at Gulfstream and has the Churchill Downs ace rider, Calvin Borel, in the plate.

Another jock whose name is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby is Kent Desormeaux and I was impressed the way his mount, Dulllahan, cut down a big deficit to catch Hansen in the Blue Grass.

New York judges didn’t rate the Wood Memorial, so I’m leaving out Gemologist and Alpha. My 1-2-3 is Dullahan, Creative Cause, Take Charge Indy.

BET 2pts win DANADANA (2.00 Newmarket)
BET 10pts win (nap) MEANDRE (2.30 Newmarket)
LAY to win 10pts CAMELOT and, already ante-post, WIN-40 JACKPOT: BET 3.3pts win ABTAAL (3.10 Newmarket at 13.0)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 6.3pts win MAYSON and 3.7pts win MARGOT DID (3.45 Newmarket)
BET 2.4pts win DULLAHAN and 1.7pts win CREATIVE CAUSE (11.24 Churchill Downs)
DAQ TREBLE: BET 4pts win Vita Nova (2.15 Goodwood) with Meandre (2.30 Newmarket) and Sentaril (8.00 Doncaster)
HORSES TO FOLLOW running today: Trumpet Major (3.10 Newmarket); Mayson (3.45 Newmarket)

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

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