MERLIN IS ANOTHER WIZARD DAQMAN JACKPOT: Daqman landed winner and third in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock yesterday with Red Merlin (WON 13-2) and Double Ross (win-and-place, 3rd 14-1 from 30.0 on BETDAQ). His main bet in the Victoria Cup was Bonnie Brae (2nd 11-1). Jackpots profit on the day: 21 points.

FIVE CLASSIC TESTS IN ONE DAY: Today he analyses the two Classics and three trials at Leopardstown and Longchamp. He is looking for upsets among the fillies at 7.6 on BETDAQ for the French 1,000 Guineas and 7.4 for the Irish 1,000 Guineas Trial.

1.30 Longchamp (Prix Hocquart): This French Derby trial used to be the preserve of Jean-Claude Rouget (three wins out of four 2003-6) and his handicap winner Saint Loup is difficult to assess on today’s soft surface, since he has raced only on AW and ‘good’ on turf.

Likely hot favourite Masterstroke also has to raise his game, having won conditions heats and making his first appearance in a Group race.

Athens, third in the Beresford (Group 2) and fourth in the Ballysax (Group 3), could be good enough, but I shall side with Loi, the only Group winner in the race, and the son of a French Derby hero. Bogged down in the mud on his seasonable reappearance, he will appreciate the drying ground.

2.40 Longchamp (French 1,000 Guineas): Andre Fabre, bidding for back-to-back wins in this Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches, has perfectly timed the progress of Petite Noblesse, who stormed to a CD win on heavy three weeks ago on only her third racecourse appearance: 7.6 on BETDAQ this morning.

Sired by an English Derby winner, related to a French Derby winner, she needs more of that finishing speed if she is to stop unbeaten front-runner Beauty Parlour, winner of the best prep race for this, the Prix De La Grotte, also over CD.

This Classic has vital yardsticks for English and Irish form, Fire Lily and Up, second and third at Leopardstown to subsequent runaway Newmarket 1,000 winner, Homecoming Queen. Fire Lily also ties in with the form of Maybe.

3.10 Longchamp (French 2,000 Guineas): The English and Irish raid on the Poule D’Essai Des Poulains has been blunted by bad draws: I couldn‘t back Telwaar, Furners Green or Gregorian from stalls 10, 11, 12, with eight of the last nine runnings of this race having been won by single-figure stalls (eight out of nine of the 1,000 came from 1-to-7).

The French have a line to the juvenile form, with Dragon Pulse narrowly beaten by Power in the National Stakes at the Curragh (Furner’s Green and Vault behind) and that colt has started his second season by winning the top trial for this, the Prix De Fontainebleau.

Eight out of 10 Poulains winners have come from the Fointainebleau but race-watchers at Longchamp a month ago were unanimous that the one to take out of the heat was Dabirsim not Dragon Pulse.

Dabirsim, unbeaten in five starts as a two-year-old, including the Morny, seemed to be cruising over Dragon Pulse when an overconfident Christophe Soumillon eased up, allowed his rival to mug him close home.

3.15 Leopardstown (1,000 Guineas Trial): Drying winds at Leopardstown could blow holes in the heavy-ground form, and you also have to be wary of last season’s two-year-old form.

Otherwise, if you believed in both, you’d nail your mortgage to Coral Wave, who beat Homecoming Queen on heavy in the Park Stakes last September and had beaten Rubina at The Curragh earlier.

In fact, the race is a fount of collateral ‘knowledge’, with all seemingly known to all, through form with Maybe and Homecoming Queen.

But perhaps Alla Speranza will tell us most about their relative merits today, since she ran sixth in the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas, without a prep run.

Dermot Weld’s two winners of this in the last four years won and were third in the 1,000 Guineas proper, but Yellow Rosebud needs the race and may want some sun to dry the ground further.

Jim Bolger gives the impression (‘we might supplement her for the Irish 1,000 Guineas’) that Alla Speranza was in no way ready for Newmarket and is on a trajectory for the Irish version: at 7.4 this morning, I shall try a bit each way.

3.45 Leopardstown (Derby Trial) In a year in which Ballydoyle have carried all before them, Aidan O”Brien is surely not going to let slip his favourite trial: he’s won this nine times, including with Galileo, High Chaparral, Yeats and Dylan Thomas.

Wrote does not look as high-ranking but could be as good as any one of the yards last three winners in succession, Fame And Glory, Midas Touch and Recital.

The only worry is the ground, with all his success on a sound surface, as Breeders Cup Juvenile (Turf) winner on ‘good’, third in the Royal Lodge on good-to-firm and third in the UAE Derby on Tapeta.

But sons of High Chaparral do well enough with cut, with that stallion himself a son of Sadlers Wells, who got plenty who were happy enough in the mud.

Jim Bolger will be hoping that his beloved Teofilo can produce a Derby winner through Light Heavy. He will be looking for a good result from Furner’s Green 35 minutes earlier in the French Guineas.

Light Heavy beat that one half a length in March before going on to win over CD a month ago. But surely that Furner’s Green line suggests that O’Brien already knows he has the edge with Wrote.

BET 7.6pts win LOI (1.30 Longchamp)
BET 3pts win PETITE NOBLESSE and 4pts win (stakes saver) BEAUTY PARLOUR (2.40 Longchamp)
BET 13pts win (nap) DABIRSIM (3.10 Longchamp)
BET 3.1pts win and place ALLA SPERANZA (3.15 Leopardstown)
DOUBLE WHAMMY; LAY to win 10pts LIGHT HEAVY and 10pts win WROTE (3.45 Leopardstown)

* 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. ‘Savers’ are backed to cover the stake(s) on the main selection. In a Double Whammy, profit and loss is decided by the SP.

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