ECLIPSE ABC: FARHH AND AWAY BETTER ON SOFT: Godolphin are talking up their Eclipse chances on Saturday as the rain lashes down for Farhh, unlucky behind the favourite, So You Think, at Royal Ascot. Here’s Daqman’s ABC guide to the Eclipse stats:

A Aged 3, 4 or 5 (nothing older has won in 50 years)
B Placed in that season’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (five of the last nine) or ran in a Derby, 2,000 Guineas or Group-1 at Royal Ascot.
C Officially rated at least 122 (six of last seven with listed ratings in England)

There are no monsters about. But there is another odds-on favourite. I’m talking about the Eclipse Stakes, without Frankel and without Camelot, seemingly left to last year ‘s winner, So You Think. Or so they think.

Let’s check out what is needed for Saturday’s big prize at Sandown Park, checking each horse’s qualifications, an easy ABC way to summarise the form and stats:

AB Daddy Long Legs: Royal Lodge winner as a juvenile but failed in the Breeders Cup. Similar story this year, following up impressive Group-2 UAE Derby win in Dubai with defeat by stablemate Power when raised to Group 1 in Irish Guineas.

The second and third in that Curragh Classic have both flopped since at Royal Ascot, and the third behind ‘Daddy’ in the UAE Derby was a similar failure at the royal meeting. The fourth horse at the Curragh was fifth, beaten 13 lengths, in the Epsom Derby

AB Farhh: Unbeaten juvenile who must have been the proverbial racing certainty in the Thirsk Hunt Cup when winning at 5-4 against, if judged on his subsequent third in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That was a massive leap forward and – since he was hampered in his run – only a few pounds further improvement could see him challenge the winner that day, So You Think. Godolphin said yesterday that soft ground is the key to Farhh.

AC Monterosso: Got his first gold star by winning the ‘Ascot Derby’ (King Edward V11 Stakes) in 2010 but, though fourth in the Irish Derby, his form has suggested since that he remains Group-2 level.

That was the case until he sprang a 20-1 surprise by overturning Meydan form with Capponi in the Group-1 Dubai World Cup, a one-paced So You Think only fourth. But it was a messy race and he is again long odds to prove it was no fluke.

AC Nathaniel Another Kind Edward V11 winner, who seemingly progressed still further – from 106 to 126 in total – to land the King George.

But it was a small field, with one-time Derby winner Workforce (second) giving lumps of weight away, and the winner putting up a slow time, even for the cut in the surface.

Seen just the once since when only fifth in the Champion Stakes, with So You Think a gallant runner-up that day so soon after his exertions in the Arc.

A Bonfire: A big talking horse before the Derby to upset Camelot. It didn’t happen. Maybe he didn’t stay; maybe he didn’t handle the track. Maybe the 1m 2f at Sandown will suit.

It’s all ‘maybe’. He did win the Dante at a similar trip but the second and third at York that day, Ektihaam and Fencing, have since been shown to be between 11 and 26 lengths off Group-1 winning form.

A Cogito: Ergo sum. But what is he? Well, his eighth in the St James Palace Stakes wouldn’t require a second thought here, if it was that straightforward.

In fact, Cogito, winner of a Listed on only his second start in May – he didn’t race last year – had no run at all at Ascot, yet wasn’t too far behind some of the cracks of this Classic generation.

The subsequent Irish Derby runner-up, Born To Sea, was second, and also just in front of him were the Irish Guineas winner, Power, and the Newmarket Guineas third, Hermeval. The winner, Most Improved, who had had to miss Camelot’s Guineas, could be anything.

A Crackerjack King: Winner of seven out of eight races, his only defeat came in last year’s French Derby, when he was drawn high and was never seen with a chance.

The Eclipse will be a first British run for the Italian Derby winner, who will relish the trip. Said to prefer good ground but is a grandson of the soft-ground sire, Barathea (Sadlers Wells).

A Giofra: Group-2 winner in the Spring, Giofra was second in the Ganay a long way adrift of Cirrus Des Aigles (second to So You Think in last year’s Champion Stakes).

A Robin Hood: Pacemaker for So You Think this season in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. His only success this year has been in a handicap.

BC So You Think Winner of 14 of his 23 races, and placed five times, so the nearest thing to a ‘monster’ in the field, though at first failing to live up to his Australian reputation.

It was not until he beat 2010 Derby and Arc winner Workforce in a fast-run Eclipse last year that he confirmed his status. Even then, though the winners of 12 Group/Grade 1s took part, critics pointed to the small field, and Workforce was subsequently beaten further by Nathaniel in the King George.

So You Think then failed to hit four consecutive Group/Grade 1 targets until scoring back-to-back wins in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in the Spring.

But there was a change of tactics in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot: So You Think was ridden for a turn of foot rather than for stamina, and he trounced last year’s Derby fourth, Carlton House, though the third, Farhh, didn’t see much daylight and ran on strongly too late to catch the front pair, if indeed they were for catching.

Carlton House swerves a rematch on Saturday, and is likely to carry The Queen’s colours in the late-season mile races.

C Cityscape At six-year-olds, it’s a bit late in the day for new horizons: Cityscape has been kept to a mile so far in 16 of his 18 starts, including in his juvenile days.

He was always second best to such star milers as Canford Cliffs and Dick Turpin, but came good over 1m 1f in a Group-1 at Meydan this Spring, his fifth success in the pattern, running on in his next start, the Sha-tin Champions Mile, as though Saturday’s 10 furlongs would now suit.

City Style Behind So You Think, Farhh and Sri Putra in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot over today’s trip, when he didn’t get a very good run, but was earlier third to Cityscape in that Meydan race in Dubai.

Sri Putra Has won only a Listed race in the last two years. Third in last season’s Prince Of Wales, and fifth to So You Think this time round. He was also third behind the same horse in the Eclipse of a year ago.

Twice Over Has won 10 times over 1m 2f, four of them at Group-1 level (the 2009 Champion Stakes, the 2010 Eclipse and Champion Stakes, and the 2011 Juddmonte International).

But the entire has dropped 6lb in the ratings this year after two defeats down in Group 3, including over Saturday’s course and distance.

Windsor Palace Hadn’t read the script when his pace from the front left odds-on stablemate St Nicholas Abbey still a length in arrears at the Curragh in May over the Eclipse trip.

But his front-running role was afterwards dropped in two impossible tasks against Frankel, and the Curragh success remains his only win since 2007.

STATS VERDICT: The stats suggest that this is a poor renewal, so you have to decide: does that hand it to the favourite, who seems to get better with age?

Or is a young improver lurking who will stem the flow of hot-shots (three winning favourites in a row)? Winners were 12-1, 15-2, 8-1, 7-1, 7-2 and 9-4 before that.

The discrepancies in the BETDAQ market as I write are 12.5 Cityscape (7-1 with Hills), 15.0 Bonfire (10-1 with Betfred), 24.0 Crackerjack King (11-1 with Hills), 36.0 Monterosso (14-1 Bet365 and Ladbrokes), 44.0 Twice Over (20-1 all round), 47.0 Giofra (14-1 Boylesport), 66.0 Cogito (33-1 Betfred), 74.0 Daddy Long Legs (20-1 Corals)

BET 7.5pts win MR FICKLE (3.15 Brighton)
BET 8pts win (nap) SOLAR VIEW (4.30 Hamilton)
BET 11pts win SHOUDA (4.45 Brighton)
BET 5.8pts win BESTY and 2.3pts win (stakes saver) JAMAICAN BOLT (5.00 Hamilton)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 3pts win double Scottish Vespers (3.45 Brighton) and Solar View (4.30 Hamilton)

* 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.

* Points are what you make them: if you bet in tenners, then 4pts win is £40; 3.2pts win is £32 (in fivers, those stakes would be £20 and £16). Daqman bets to a level return so that you can easily assess his tipping ability.

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