15.5 OFFERS ON A PLATE FOR PITMAN’S DERBY PUNTERS: It’s a tale of two Derbys today, two slogs in the mud, the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, and the Irish Derby at The Curragh. Daqman has a ‘wrong price’ BETDAQ offer of 15.5 for this afternoon and a place bet tonight on a 27.0 chance of beating Camelot.

Bookies are a bit like bankers. They warn you of the austerity to come – as in today’s Racing Post – then surreptitiously milk you dry, and later you learn how much profit they have returned for the year.

The bookies’ margin in Frankel’s race at Royal Ascot was 138%; in Black Caviar’s Diamond Jubilee 144%; and we are warned to expect something similar when Camelot lines up at The Curragh tonight.

But, having taken this indigestible biscuit with my coffee through unbelieving eyes, I immediately cursored to BETDAQ, and there above the orange on the very same Irish Derby tonight was the margin of offers available this morning: 104%.

Whether it’s a Derby or Betty and Bert’s Wedding Day Claimer, being in a punter-friendly market is the first essential of successful betting. Odds and offers must be on your side, or close to it.

2.00 Newmarket (Tattersalls Millions Cup): Obviously, if you can confidently delete runners in the race, you are going to reduce that overround and make it an underround.

The ratings say that’s not difficult in this Newmarket opener. Official assessment, which turns a 107% morning list into an 84% underround, says that Michelangelo beats Miblish, Switzerland and Cameron Highland – the rest nowhere – with Switzerland dead on last year’s winning mark.

In pricing up a race (assessing what he thinks the odds should be), the shrewd professional allows a margin for something that may come out of the woodwork.

What you have to allow for here are unexposed horses. There were eight declared with five races or fewer on their CVs, which makes us so much more grateful for that 107% BETDAQ ‘book’!

Of those four at the front of the market, Switzerland is the most exposed; and Miblish? Well, all Clive Brittain’s geese are swans and racing’s Mr Nice Guy has had only one turf winner from 44 starters this year.

That leaves a straight fight between two sons of Galileo, Cameron Highland, from last year’s winning yard, and Michelangelo, from the Gosden outfit that’s galloping away with so much of the prizemoney right now.

It’s my belief that I have such a good offer about Cameron Highland (5.6 as I write) that I can afford to ‘reduce’ those odds by stakes saving on Michelangelo.

2.15 Newcastle (Chipchase Stakes): My Spring money-spinner Mayson has two things against him here: a Group-3 penalty and very soft ground.

After their Salisbury ding-dong, Our Jonathan could give Libranno a boost (3.35 Newmarket) but is not well in here with his old adversary, Eton Rifles, who has won on heavy.

Maarek, too, loves the soft, and for me is the improver of the race, up 23lb in relentless progress during the last year: he was drawn on the wrong side when carrying top-weight in the Wokingham.

2.30 Newmarket (Empress Stakes): An Ascot loser with a win before the royal meeting. That’s the formula for this, and that’s what you get with Queen Mary also-ran Baileys Jubilee (finished 13th). Yet she’s not in the first four in the market.

The Hannon runner – City Image – is always going to be tight in the market in a race like this but two others have form which has been significantly boosted.

Sandreamer (winners behind at Newmarket earlier) is 3.9 on BETDAQ as I write and Bridge Night (beat winners at Lingfield) is 6.8.

But that market points up the difference between them: Bridge Night is trying the extra furlong, whereas Sandreamer has already won over the six and is from a yard on the crest of a wave this season.

3.00 Newmarket (Fred Archer Stakes): Four-year-olds are beating five by 7-3 in the last decade, with horses, colts and geldings 10-0 over fillies and mares.

Michael Jarvis used to love this race but didn’t bring a seasonal debutante to it, as his protégé, Roger Varian, does with the filly Zafarana, who has won only her maiden.

James Fanshawe (Dandino) has had four runners in the last five days, with the results as form figures: 1112. Dandino’s head defeat by Sea Moon at Goodwood looked hot at the time but even hotter after his conqueror’s runaway Hardwicke Stakes win at Royal Ascot.

Since his only serious rival in the market today, Berling, was five lengths behind him at Goodwood, this looks a case of ‘buying money’ from an odds-on favourite.

But be warned before you put the mortgage on that John Dunlop (Berling) had had 66 turf losers for only two winners until he possibly turned the corner with Mubaraza at Newmarket yesterday. His horses may leap forward, or at least you have to adjust your pricing up to that potential.

With a perfect eight runners, I shall try another little stakes stunt: I shall have Berling each-way, and back Dandino to cover only the win stake on Berling. The idea is I get two winning bets up out of three whichever one wins, just as long as Berling gets a place.

3.20 Newcastle (Northumberland Plate): The Pitman’s Derby could be well named; they’ll be digging deep this afternoon all right, and every pound on the back will be like a sack of coal.

Alongside Richard Fahey’s Mayson, which I mentioned earlier, I had Gulf Of Naples in my Spring horses to follow; he did me well enough, and could be hard to catch, as a front-runner, helped by the ground.

But it’s back to the Fahey connection for me. In receipt of 15lb – that’s quite a Gulf! – Lexington Bay is by a long way the wrong price at offers of 15.5 on BETDAQ.

Lexington had eight lengths to spare over Palazzo Bianco at Kempton in April and the Gosden runner was a beaten favourite, only fourth, on his only start on soft-heavy last October.

A bigger danger to Lexington may be Chester Cup winner Ile De Re but I’m still reluctant to look that high in the handicap on this ground, and I shall chance Motivado (9.4 offers this morning). Goes extremely well fresh and has a weights pull with both Gulf of Naples and Lexington Bay on last year’s form.

Motivado’s dam won on soft ground in France, which translates as mud over here, and Sir Mark Prescott’s hope could be even better this term, having been gelded during the winter.

3.35 Newmarket (Criterion Stakes): Hoof It, 9lb clear in the ratings for this, preps for the July Cup after missing Royal Ascot.

So does Libranno and he should have the keener edge on him, having won only 13 days ago. Sprint-star Hoof It has always failed over 7f, beaten a total of 40 lengths in three attempts, the last time being his last of 18 at Doncaster in a much lower grade.

The Stewards’ Cup winner is 26lb a better horse these days but the 7f up the lonely July straight will be hard to get, and they are not going to punish him to get it today.

Libranno’s form in the pattern when dropped below Group 2 in the last year is 1101, whereas Hoof It’s only pattern attempts have been in Group 1 and 2 and he’s been beaten every time.

Edinburgh Knight, Firebeam, Majestic Myles and Bannock are all Listed level at best. Libranno’s record at at Newmarket is 114, and I shall take the 4.9 this morning for him to improve on it.

7.40 The Curragh (Irish Derby) This is actually the supreme Derby. It is not Epsom but The Curragh which produces the giants: Montjeu, Galileo, High Chaparral, Hurricane Run, Dylan Thomas.

However, as with so many meetings this year, in both England and Ireland, the great day – sorry, night – is blighted by rain.

If Camelot is beaten, he will be beaten by the weather. His most likely conqueror because of the mud, stablemate Imperial Monarch, has missed work with a bruised foot, so the place bet has to be Akeed Mofeed, but I’ve never seen a hyped horse at 27.0 before!

It all reads like a walkover to me but the fresh Akeed Mofeed could find some legs when others have cried enough, a bit like bringing on a fast forward as the football yet again heads for a 0-0 draw.

BET 4.3pts win CAMERON HIGHLAND and 3.6pts win (stakes saver) MICHELANGELO (2.00 Newmarket)
BET 5.5pts win MAAREK (2.15 Newcastle)
BET 6.7pts win SANDREAMER (2.30 Newmarket)
BET 3.3pts win and place BERLING, and 4pts win (stakes saver) DANDINO (3.00 Newmarket)
WIN-30 JACKPOTS: BET 3.5pts win MOTIVADO and 2pts win and place LEXINGTON BAY (3.20 Newcastle)
LAY 10pts HOOF IT, and BET 5.1pts win (nap) LIBRANNO (3.35 Newmarket)
BET 0.7pts win and place AKEED MOFEED (7.40 The Curragh)
DAQ MULTIPLES YANKEE: Michelangelo (2.00 Newmarket), Dandino (3.00 Newmarket), Libranno (3.35 Newmarket) and Camelot (7.40 The Curragh)

* 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.

* Points are what you make them: if you bet in tenners, then 4pts win is £40; 3.2pts win is £32 (in fivers, those stakes would be £20 and £16). Daqman bets to a level return so that you can easily assess his tipping ability.

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