EIGHT NAPS IN A ROW IN FIRST THREE: Daqman is in a place rut with his naps right now, eight in a row in the first three as follows: 21122133.

NOW HE TURNS TO IRELAND FOR HIS BEST BET: With the quality card of the day at Ayr abandoned, Daqman has made up his own card of the best races at the other meetings in England and Ireland. He hopes his nap is Plains sailing this time.

4.00 Pontefract Last year’s winner Misplaced Fortune, now badly off with the runner-up Jade, has performed well enough in a higher grade recently, whereas Jade is a bit in and out, so it’s a question of who’s in form on the day.

Dancheur comes into it, better off for her third behind Jade at Nottingham; Love Island is on a hat-trick; and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Pearl Diva, with the stable now back in some sort of form.

But I’m tying my ribbon to My Sharona, (5.7 on BETDAQ as I write), gambled on to step up succesfully into this grade at Salisbury (but the grey stumbled her chance away) after a very easy success at Goodwood.

4.20 Yarmouth All Repeater has repeated is second place three times followed by fourth place three times so, though he did well at a much higher level last time out, he is looking suspect.

Montaser gets the job done and had five-in-a-row winner Bilidn (needs to bounce back) behind at Ascot, but the worry this time is: why the absence since July?

Mawaqeet was on the upgrade when last seen on the first day of August: his running-on second to Sir General Wade now looks very good indeed.  But he, too, hasn’t been seen since.

In fact, I was struggling to remember a race when four nearest rivals to the paper favourite as I looked at the card this morning had been off the track collectively for so long : 97 days (Lordofthehouse, since withdrawn), 55 (Bilidn), 55 again (Montaser) and 50 (Mawaqeet). Even the likely pacemaker, Call It On, has been off 62 days.

It inclines me to a bit each way on Modernism, who recently ‘arrived’ at this class-2 level, has bottom weight, is stepped up in trip – so is unexposed – and has Kieren Fallon taking over. A handy 7.4 on BETDAQ as I write.

4.35 Listowel This trip seems too short for some of the front-runners in the market, so the 4.3 offers Princeton Plains look more appealing than at first sight.

Since he is a CD winner, and has Tony McCoy’s power driving to help, I’m hoping for Plains sailing for the nap.

8.10 Kempton Park Though Gerard Butler is complaining about the prizemoney here, he doesn’t seem too confident about Burj Alzain, back racing in England for the first time since April last year. But he’s raced in a much higher grade in America.

Also massively dropped in class are I Love Me, Pearl Mix, who hasn’t run for a year, Masteroftherolls, not seen since March, and UAE Derby third Counterglow, off the track three months. These long absences are worse than the 4.20 Yarmouth!

This time we have runners absent 439 days, 201, 180, 103 and 40. At least I Love Me (offers of 7.0) has been running to form more recently, and was twice well backed at Listed level in July, so it could be her turn with the many doubts about the others.

Primaeval was the most consistent in the field until recently and has a good record here but is noted for Spring success (wins from March to June) and AW winter campaign. He’s a bit short in the betting, with so many highly tried contenders, every one of them younger than he.

BET 4.2pts win MY SHARONA (4.00 Pontefract)
BET 3.1pts win MODERNISM (4.20 Yarmouth)
BET 6pts win (nap) PRINCETON PLAINS (4.35 Listowel)
BET 3.3pts win I LOVE ME (8.10 Kempton Park)

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