WHAT’S THE DARK HORSE IN THE ARC? Daqman’s horses to follow have scored with Bonnie Brae, Danedream, Imperial Monarch, Mayson, Most Improved, Nathaniel and Toronado, to name but a few as they say. Now he adds one for the Arc.

WHAT’S THE NEW TARGET FOR BONNIE BRAE? With Goodwood, York and the St Leger festivals all just around the corner, Daqman reviews the targets for such as Bonnie Brae, Duntle and Hallelujah.

Racing is all about opinion. But please no more jockeys on telly! It used to be agony waiting for a pearl of wisdom from Laughing Willie (I should know; I was once Carson’s ghostwriter). Now we have Steve Drowne.

Steve’s ‘expert view’ billed on the Home page of the Racing Post website yesterday was that ‘she (Danedream?) has nothing to prove (‘in the Arc’?), whereas Camelot, although head and shoulders above the other three-year-olds, has yet to take on the older horses.’

Hang on, Steve: I think you will find we can turn that completely on its head. ‘Camelot has nothing to prove against his own generation, but in the King George, none of this year’s European three-year-olds were represented, so Danedream still has to take them on and, in true French tradition, probably won’t do so now until the Arc, put away for that race.’

The only Classic-generation animal she has met this season is Deep Brillante, the Japanese Derby winner, eighth out of 10 at Ascot.

At least Steve could say that the last older horse to win the Arc, Dylan Thomas (2007), didn’t meet any three-year-olds in the King George on the way to Longchamp (but was beaten by that year’s Derby winner at York in the International in August).

Eight of the last nine Arcs (and 15 out of 18) have been won by three-year-olds (including Danedream last season) and I would say that Danedream and others, now of the older generation, have, in fact, still got it to prove, giving away the weight to the likes of Camelot.

There’s your comeback opening, Steve! Among the colts, there are no ‘likes of Camelot’ in their second season. There is only Camelot, pressed by the older Nathaniel, Danedream and St Nicholas Abbey, at the front of the Longchamp list.

But notice I said ‘colts’. There could be another Danedream lurking in the shape of the Aga Khan’s Valyra: with only three races to her name, the Azamour filly is the potential improver.

Valyra burst the bubble of the odds-on and hitherto unbeaten Beauty Parlour in the Prix De Diane (French Oaks), after being supplemented, a sure sign that she suddenly had them sitting up and taking notice in the Rouget yard.

Valyra’s return is eagerly awaited in the trial which has always been a signal to the strength of any filly attempting the Arc pinnacle, the Prix Vermeille, won by the last mare before Danedream to win the Arc, Zarkava.

Her owner? The very same Aga Khan, for whom the Arc is everything. As he daydreams of beating Danedream and Camelot, let’s just check out my new list of horses to follow, additional to previous winners (see top of the page):

BONNIE BRAE On and off my list, landed the Bunbury Cup despite her stable being so badly out of form. She’s five now but the handicapper says she’s improved 24lb in the last year or so.

Her rise up the handicap – she’s still in a big one at Goodwood – is such that she’s now been entered to try for some black type in a Group 3 at the end of August.

HIGHLAND COLORI Unlucky to have to run virtually solo (from the dreaded ‘coffin box’, the one draw) in an Ascot International dominated by the high numbers on Saturday (result by stall 22, 18, 23).

LADYSHIP Lightly raced three-year-old filly open to bags more improvement; Sir Michael Stoute trained her dam to move up from handicaps and go on to Group success later in her career.

Ladyship went clear on the opening day of the King George meeting but, still a little bit unsure of the business in hand, got mugged on the line by a horse more than twice her age. Losses only lent.

HALLELUJAH Yet another who’s seen a racecourse only five times, climbing straight from success in a class-3 handicap to Group 3 company at York last time, and expected to land a typical Fanshawe touch before the season’s out. The Stewards’ Cup?

BOOM AND BUST Attempted the Royal Hunt Cup from a bad draw and off a break of 327 days. Not entirely disgraced, without being knocked about.

He had last been seen at Glorious Goodwood, completing a four-timer, and the Goodwood Mile in early August is his target. Should improve for the Ascot run and play his hand (bust him!)

HOYAM Another one caught on the wrong side at Royal Ascot, with a high stands-side stall when low numbers were doing best. It was only the second start of her career for a yard – Michael Bell’s – having a sluggish time of it at that stage.

Bell thinks so much of Hoyam, she is entered in the Lowther at York, though might even take them on in the Nunthorpe, where she would have massive two-year-old allowances.

AGENT ALLISON Still no further entries for Royal Ascot’s Albany Stakes runner-up. But her sire won the Morny and the Middle Park for the same trainer.

AWAKE MY SOUL The Cumani dark horse for the late season after two decent maidens in the space of three weeks.

DUNTLE Swerved the Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse in favour of two Group-3 entries in August, and a bold Group 1 tilt has now been placed on the agenda for the autumn.

Duntle, a David Wachman filly, powered home at Royal Ascot on the ‘wrong side’, though the Sandringham Stakes was only the fourth race of her life.

ROSSLYN CASTLE Granted some cut in the ground, which doesn’t seem a problem this ‘summer’, Roger Charlton’s son of Selkirk could be the surprise packet in the Great Voltigeur.

VALYRA see above.

BET 7.5pts win (nap) RAHEEBA (2.00 Musselburgh)
BET 11pts win THE NIFTY FOX (4.00 Musselburgh)
BET 4pts win SPARKING (6.35 Ffos Las)

* 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.

Did you know that as well as checking the realtime prices on BETDAQ below – you can also log into your account and place your bets directly into BETDAQ from BETDAQ TIPS.

Bet via BETDAQ mobile below