11.5 BETDAQ VALUE AT CHESTER: After winners at 28-1 and 7-1 this week, Daqman’s Chester Cup bets, Overturn and Gulf Of Naples, were clear of the field yesterday until the race became attritional in the final furlong. Today’s bets include an 11.5 offer.

1.35 Chester: Nothing above 9st 1lb has won this, and every pound counts in the conditions, which are expected to get even softer. Times were slow by up to 14.46 secs yesterday.

With Donald McCain’s Chester Cup one-two in the back of the mind, punters made Absinthe favourite in an open market this morning, but he’s finished well behind on the two occasions he was elevated to this company.

Both his Flat wins have come in class 4 and, though he’s taken a couple of small-field hurdle races this winter, his rating has actually dropped a few pounds.

Cry Fury, who beat Absinthe at a difference of 9lb at Goodwood (going good) in August, could do so again off the revised marks, as he won readily that day. Factoring in the ground conditions is difficult.

Listed winner Opera Gal may lead from stall 2, but she’s never won before July and Andrew Balding’s horses seldom score on their first run back. Oceanway, also known to front-run, will have to get across to the rail from 10; and he didn’t like the heavy at Epsom.

Flag Officer is the form horse on his second to subsequent Breeders Cup Turf runner-up, Sea Moon, at York last season, and trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has current form figures of 21031333321 with his seven-day runners at 9-2 SP or lower.

For winning form on soft ground and form on a turning track (close second at Goodwood in September), you can’t beat Robemaker, a 7.2 offer on BETDAQ this morning for John Gosden, who is currently four from six on the Roodeye when William Buick rides.

2.05 Chester (Tradesman’s Cup): Five of the last seven winners of this have been hot favourite, with four-year-olds going for a four-timer.

I won’t touch a Group-race runner with a hood (Marcret first time), particularly with the mud flying, and the ground is against Wigmore Hall and St Moritz, as far as is known.

Hunter’s Light has run well at Group level over a trip too far, is a Listed winner at 10f, a soft-ground scorer, and successful on a turning track: what more do you want!

Questioning beat Twice Over at Newmarket and battled it out well enough against Penitent on the heavy at Sandown but his form shouts ‘bridesmaid’, hard to win with, six times placed out of nine, wrapped round that HQ success.

2.35 Chester Vase: Though the 2,000 Guineas is back to the fore as a Derby trial, the first official Epsom test is this Chester Vase, which in the last decade has produced a second, fourth, fifth (three times) and sixth (twice) in the Derby.

But it’s a long way back to Henbit and Shergar (1980-1), who won the Vase in consecutive years and both followed up at Epsom.

Ballydoyle has taken this trial three times in the last five seasons, and their Galileo colt, David Livingston, has already won from the front on heavy ground (1m).

His pedigree suggests that 1m 4f will be no problem but he has to turn around Leopardstown form of a month or so ago with Call To Battle.

You takes your choice at around 5-2 each of two.

My only advice is that your bet should be a BETDAQ offer, on the grounds that the exchange list adds up to 101% as I write, almost dead on a round book, so punter friendly as ever.

3.05 Chester: Mark Johnston likes to win this, giving them plenty of racing before they get here, as with Switzerland, a massive 11.5 Daq offer.

Richard Fahey tips up Gabrial, which will ensure that Channel-4 interviews Marwan Koukash yet again. The market says Gabrial is today’s betting angel but the soft, soft ground is bringing them all down to earth.

WIN-30 JACKPOT: 4.8pts win ROBEMAKER and 1.3pts win (stakes saver) FLAG OFFICER (1.35 Chester)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 11pts win HUNTER’S LIGHT, and 3.9pts (stakes saver) QUESTIONING (2.05 Chester)
BET 1.9pts win SWITZERLAND and 1.2pts win (stakes saver) GABRIAL (3.05 Chester)
BET 8.8pts win (nap) MADE IN TIME (7.05 Wincanton)
BET 4pts win and place KILVERGAN BOY (7.45 Kelso)

* 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.

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