TIME FOR ANOTHER DARING DAQMAN LAY: Daqman is famous for his daring lays, such as brought him 10 in a row in the autumn and 16 consecutive at the Cheltenham Festival. Currently scoring at a rate of 77%, here’s his assessment of another risk-take today.
Shall I make you nervous? If you are taking the odds, let me tell you that Time For Rupert hasn’t won outside Cheltenham for two years and eight months.
He’s been beaten favourite the last twice, his official rating has dropped 5lb this year, and the only time he’s run at Newbury, he was 25 lengths down the field in a hurdle race.
Rupert was also 25 lengths behind Kauto Star in Kauto’s memorable return to the top rank in the Lancashire Chase at Haydock recently. It’s hardly credible now that the pair started the same price.
‘Should have done better’ is Raceform’s report on Rupert for that race; he trailed in, despite making his seasonal debut three weeks earlier when put in his place by Weird Al in the Charlie Hall.
Excuses were made for both performances. In fact, Haydock was his third consecutive race of excuses, coughing and broken blood vessels – both? – having been put forward after his flop in the RSA when 7-4 favourite.
There’s also a note of panic in that his partner in all 16 races so far, Will Kennedy, has been replaced by Denis O’Regan.
Now Time For Rupert is here for an ‘easy’ confidence builder, but he won’t get it. Pasco, beaten 11 lengths in the same race last year, has this as his target to see how much better he is after a breathing operation.
All the signs are that he doesn’t have to be very much better, despite the 10lb gap in official ratings, to cause an upset today. I simply can’t back a disappointing – and disappointed – horse at odds on. I find that Pasco at 5.4 is a huge price in a two-horse race.
What on earth The Giant Bolster is doing at 6.0 (it’s a 104% ‘book’ of offers so there are no adjustments due at time of writing), I cannot imagine? The only answer is ‘hype’ has bolstered his reputation beyond his ability.
He was a long way last, eventually being pulled up, when Time For Rupert was fifth in the RSA; he was one-paced on his return in a hurdle race; he was touted for price in the trade paper for a big chase at Cheltlenham but didn’t get past the first, and he was reluctant to line up before blundering himself out of the Hennessy (one paced, beaten 15 lengths).
In truth, they’ve all got something to prove in today’s so-called Graduation Chase and, in a race like that, you don’t back an odds-on favourite.
At 1.67 the lay I won’t lose much if I take on Time For Rupert, and I’ll be quite happy to see his reputation enhanced instead of mine. My lays are currently scoring at 77%, with a target of 72% likely to bring a worthwhile yield, so long as I lay favourites or nearly so. I’ve cut myself a bit of slack, so here goes!
Coincidence punters are on a tongue-twisting double with Broadbackbob (2.00 and Back Bob Back (3.05). Let me bob back to the first of these, which is a cracking novice hurdle.
Alan King (Gospel Preacher) won it last year; Polisky drops from Graded level; Same Difference (15.5 for a bit each way) is related to Spot Thedifference and Carrigmorna King looked a horse with potential here last time; Dancing Emily gets all the allowances.
The earlier maiden (1.25) could also throw up a star: Nicky Henderson and Alan King have dominated this race in the past and, on bumper form, there is precious little between Ericht and Montbazon.
Ericht is more exposed and Montbazon’s reappearance bumper run was just a pipeopener. There is a couple of lengths in it on collateral form but the better of the two on that line is the bigger price: Montbazon’s 5.2 must be taken.
At Bangor, Rapid Increase (1.10) deserves another chance at a marathon trip, with McCoy taking over from McLernon and a tongue-tie applied. A decent 8.6 on offer.
Rebel Swing upped his game over 4m last time but that was class 4 and the race was run ‘a month’ slow (a huge 59secs to be precise).
Incentivise will run off a mark similar to that from which he won the race last year, so his 5.2 is also reasonable.
BET 4.7pts win INCENTIVISE and 2.6pts win RAPID INCREASE (1.10 Bangor)
BET 4.7pts win (nap) MONTBAZON (1.25 Newbury)
BET 1.3pts win and place SAME DIFFERENCE (2.00 Newbury)
LAY to win 10pts TIME FOR RUPERT and 4.5pts win PASCO (2.35 Newbury)
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