DOUBLE-YOUR-MONEY DAQMAN IS ON THE GUINEAS GAMBLE: Daqman’s price-wise 2,000 Guineas headliner, Abtaal (13.0 taken on BETDAQ yesterday), was cut to a general 8-1 ante-post with bookmakers this morning, as the colt’s rider, Christophe Soumillon, talked up his chances. Daqman reckons his Betdaq bet will return double the SP.

33-1 BETDAQ VALUE OFFER FOR THE 1,000: Now he recommends 34.0 BETDAQ value about a virtual unknown among the fillies for Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas, with the trainer reportedly ‘very confident.’

The Rockfel can’t win it now. That was Bill down the betting shop, being bitter about the withdrawal of Wading from Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Five 1,000 winners in a dozen or so years – up to Finsceal Beo (2007) – had won the Rockfel, a significant two-year-old pointer since it is run at Newmarket.

Bill’s one of those punters who tags on the end of a stats sequence, just when it starts to leak losers. So, glad to say, I didn’t listen when he texted me Wading.

I texted him back: ‘If I don’t see the race, and Laugh Out Loud wins it, will you text me ‘lol’?’ Bill was not amused.

So I rubbed it in: ‘Of course, I shall be texting you ‘lmao’ if Diala wins.’ He knew I’d grabbed 27.0 for Sunday on BETDAQ in this column weeks ago.

I always regard the 1,000 Guineas ante-post as a punting lottery, so I’m pleased to have had a coconut shy at the race and got some ‘overs’. You need 10-1 a filly’s trained on, never mind that she’ll win the Guineas.

As the last Rockfel winner to score in the 1,000, Finsceal Beo stopped a run of outsiders in this first fillies’ Classic, though Barry Hills’ Ghanaati soon stepped in for the long-shots again and, at 20-1, lowered the many colours of the 11-8 on ‘jolly’, Rainbow View.

And it was when I was checking out Wading’s Rockfel that I realized that the third home last year in that juvenile test, Gray Pearl, trained by Charles Hills, has been campaigned just like Ghanaati.

As well as having the shrewd Hills team on her side, Gray Pearl had just two late-season juvenile runs, as did Ghanaati.

So why not go back to the Rockfel, and Gray Pearl. Her sire, Excellent Art, by the soft-ground stallion Pivotal, has an eye-opening strike-rate of 20% for progeny running on the soft.

So I checked out Gray Pearl with a Lambourn contact, who said: ‘Gray Pearl is a really big filly, but she kept progressing last year and was favourite to win her maiden first time out. Then she progressed some more.

‘Even so, I couldn’t punt her in the Rockfel, and she started 20-1. It was a surprise to me when she got third behind Wading, showing a good attitude and making a massive step forward. Anything she did as a two-year-old was a bonus.

‘She’s filled out in all the right places and won’t be disgraced on Sunday. Another Ghanaati? What a fabulous day for Charles if he could emulate his father’s 1,000 Guineas win in true Hills fashion.. with a dark ‘un.’’

And the boss’s verdict? According to her Somerset breeder Nick Pocock, Charles Hills is ‘very confident.’

Gray Pearl, 20-1 in several places with bookmakers, is 34.0 on BETDAQ this morning but 22.0 with another exchange, as I write. Just Maybe she’s worth a Don’t go away..brb.

BET 3pts win BALLINTUBBER CROSS (3.20 Hereford)
BET 6.7pts win RISE TO GLORY (4.30 Musselburgh)
BET 8.3pts win (nap) BASEBALL TED (4.50 Hereford)
ANTE-POST: WIN-40 JACKPOT: 1.2pts win GRAY PEARL (1,000 Guineas, Newmarket, Sunday)
* 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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