NOW IT’S NINE LAYS IN A ROW: Daqman, the ace of lays, did it again yesterday, with his ninth in a row for 90 points profit, the last seven being consecutive losing favourites. Cheveton (unplaced 5-1) at Haydock also made it 10 out of the last 11 in 17 days. Here are the last nine:

* Cheveton (unplaced 5-1 favourite), Haydock Sept 24
* Cill Rialaig (3rd 3-1 jt favourite), Newmarket Sept 22
* Waltzing Cat (unplaced 15-8 favourite), Kempton Sept 21
* Half A Billion (3rd 7-4 favourite), Beverley Sept 20
* Deliberation (unplaced 9-4 favourite), Hamilton Sept 18
* Labarinto (unplaced 7-2 favourite), Newbury Sept 17
* York Glory (unplaced 11-2 favourite), Doncaster Sept 10
* Zero Money (unplaced 7-1), Doncaster Sept 10
* Catchanova (unplaced 4-1), Kempton Sept 7

Classic contender? The best time to use that phrase is sometime in April when the chaff is beginning to blow off the thoroughbred wheat.

But that won’t stop the bookmakers harvesting a fortune this coming winter from a million mug bets on ante-post books for the 2012 Guineas and Derby.

The Press as ever encourages them, and today’s Racing Post front page, declaring Akeed Mofeed a 2012 Classic contender is an example. There are 477 other ‘Classic contenders’ entered in the Epsom Derby alone.

What we can say at this stage is that Akeed Mofeed (I’m told it means literally ‘definitely useful’ or, by inference, ‘sure thing’) has got as far as the Beresford Stakes this afternoon.

Frankel won Saturday’s Royal Lodge and went on to a fabulous Guineas. Sea The Stars won the Beresford before his great three-year-old year, including Guineas and Derby.

But the 2010 Beresford is a salutary warning; the other side of the coin. Casamento tore them apart by four lengths. What we didn’t know is that those he beat would go on to win only modest maidens.

Even had they known that, it wouldn’t have mattered to those fans who backed him for the Guineas in droves after he went on to take the Racing Post Trophy.

Two major two-year-old trials to his name, and he could get no nearer than 10th in one Classic and 9th in another! So let’s try to treat each race on its merits, as it comes, starting with Epsom today:

3.00 Epsom Nothing above 8st 12lb has won this, and Yojimbo, who loves the mirrored turning tracks of Goodwood and Epsom will be hard to beat here, getting 12lb from Sure Route.

But his problems are local horse Tasfeya, who goes well fresh and could be looking for a soft lead under Kieren Fallon, and Dubawi Sound.

Just what to make of Dubawi Sound? He won a maiden at Newbury in April with ease off a slow pace when totally unfancied at 50-1 but hasn’t been seen since. I had a pound on each of Yojimbo at 7.8 and Tasfeya at 15.0 on Betdaq, intended as a back and lay.

3.10 The Curragh (Park Stakes) The best any of these ‘Classic contenders’ could do, winners of this in the last eight years, was a subsequent 7th in the 1,000 Guineas.

David Wachman has won three Park Stakes in that time but his maiden Strike Action will have to improve a ton to figure today.

Ballydoyle’s After seems to have gone backwards, Fire Lily extending superiority over her from Curragh in July to Lowther at York last month.

But we saw the same stable’s seemingly exposed Daddy Long Legs suddenly take a leap forward yesterday and After is dropping back in grade here; she got just as close to Fire Lily as Princess Sinead.

However, the only collateral form I can find puts her behind Coral Wave, who beat Lady Wingshot emphatically from the front earlier this month.

4.10 Epsom (Apprentices’ Derby) It’s Derby day for the boys. A three-year-old wins every year, and Mark Johnston knows it.

He’s sent down The Bells Of Peover, rejuvenated by blinkers, but facing a chase with front-runner Memory Lane.

4.20 The Curragh (Beresford Stakes) The ‘sure thing’, Akeed Mofeed walked all over Athens by five lengths at Leopardstown and is the get of an Irish 2,000 Guineas winner.

Now David Livingston, Parish Hall and Furners Green put it to him, after finishing in the frame in the prestigious National Stakes and the Futurity. If he wins this, he’ll challenge Born To Sea as the best juvenile colt in Ireland.

5.15 Epsom The last race of the year on the Derby course, and an interesting booking for Harry Bentley on Avertise (a huge 34.0), which brings the horse’s handicap down to exactly the weight carried when he won over CD in July.

BET 2.9pts win YOJIMBO and 1.4pts win and place TASFEYAA (3.00 Epsom)
BET 7pts win CORAL WAVE (3.10 The Curragh)
BET 8.8pts win THE BELLS O PEOVER and 2.5pts win MEMORY LANE (4.10 Epsom)
BANKER 20pts win AKEED MOFEED (4.20 The Curragh)
BET 0.6pts win and place AVERTIS (5.15 Epsom)