7-1 SHOT SAILS IN AFTER 28-1 CRUISE: Daqman continues to make a splash in the rain with two days’ profit standing at 47.45 after Ruben Cotter (WON 7-1) yesterday, following Cruiser (WON 28-1), his Bank Holiday Monday treat. Keep them coming, Daqman!

1.35 Chester (Lily Agnes Stakes): Every winner in the last decade was from stalls 1-to-5 and all had previously raced (8 out of 10 had two or more starts), so Wayne Rooney’s debutant Pippy – stall 5 – will need to be, like his owner, unusually forward to score.

Rooney’s trainer, Tom Dascombe, has a better chance of putting one in the back of the net in the last race today with one of 20 and more runners he will saddle at Chester this week for Michael Owen, blinkered-first-time Juno The Muffinman (4.45).

Bill Turner doesn’t think Just Past Andover is quite good enough in the opener, so I shall go with the filly, Tharawal Lady at 4.0, as I write. I like Moss Vales in these conditions and her 5lb allowance over the colts will come in useful.

2.05 Chester (Cheshire Oaks): Light Shift (2007) went from winning this to taking the Oaks at Epsom, and two more successful here since then have finished in the frame in the big one on the Downs.

In the last four years, two winners of this have been maidens and two have come on from winning their maidens. SP favourites have won six of the last seven, with Aidan O’Brien three out of four. Could it get much better for Ballydoyle?

Yes, it could get Betterbetterbettter: closely related to Oaks placed fillies, the daughter of Galileo is nicely drawn in stall 2.

Of the front-runners, as seen so far, Apothecary (in 3) is better drawn than Absolute Crackers (second to Homecoming Queen in October), Everlong and Good Morning Star. All have to prove themselves at the trip and the only winner at 1m 4f, Cockney Sparrow, has the widest stall.

Betterbetterbetter is entered up in everything going: Irish 1,000, English and Irish Oaks, Ribblesdale and so on. Apothecary, Cubanita and Dreams Of Fire (related to a Derby winner) also have strong entries.

Of this trio, only Cubanita has been supported this morning, with Ralph Beckett’s excitement about the filly becoming infectious. As a Selkirk, this 6.2 offer this morning should love the ground.

2.35 Chester Cup: Last year’s winner of this, Overturn, was behind Tominator when failing to land back-to-back Pitman’s Derbys under a 7lb penalty from the Chester race but he set too strong a pace that day.

He has improved over hurdles this winter, culminating in second spot in the Champion Hurdle, so potentially capable of shrugging off what appears as a big Flat weight here.

Tominator has a rails draw in 2 and – three years younger – he, too, should be improving but has to defy an absence of 243 days, and is not known for performing well when fresh.

Cesarewitch winner Never Can Tell is handy in stall 6 and gets weight from Overturn and Tominator but his handicap position may be better judged by his 10lb rise on Kazbow (changed stables), though beating him only a neck at Chester in September. Both Never Can Tell and Kazbow prefer top of the ground.

First-reserve Shubaat, well drawn in 3, gets into the race after defections but I would be nervous of spending my money at 6.2 on a big horse who clearly doesn’t stand training (only five career runs).

What to make of the Ballydoyle hope, Harrison’s Cave, considered worth sending to Churchill Downs for last November’s Grade-2 Breeders Cup Marathon (ninth) but found to be coughing after a poor reappearance effort?

This column is already on Gulf Of Naples, who runs ahead of the handicapper here. Despite his high draw, he is still being supported: in fact, we pinched a few ‘overs’, having taken offers of 9.8 (he’s 7.6, as I write).

So it is that we can afford another bet, and it has to be Overturn (7.4 requires 4.6 points to win 30). Gulf Of Naples’ stablemate, Eternal Heart, is better drawn but, despite that and the Pricewise tip for him, he is a lonely dog on a raft as I write, not wanted at 19.5.

3.05 Chester: Only one favourite has scored in the last decade and 9 out of 10 winners have carried 9st or less, with results by stall 7, 3, 4, 7, 6, 2, 6, 4, 1, 3.

Last year’s winner from stall 7 off a rating of 89, Doctor Parkes is now in 11 and 3lb higher, without a run for 214 days, though his first-run-back form is 3101, and trainer Eric Alston scored at Hamilton on Sunday.

Doctor Parkes is very easy to back this morning and, at 11.0, Foxy Music, overfaced in the Palace House Stakes at the weekend, may be Alston’s better bet.

However, my allegiance is with Kevin Ryan: of his quartet, Partner is drawn high; Falasteen is a bridesmaid these days, 5lb above his highest winning mark; but Dickie’s Lad (stall 3) won first time out on turf last season and ran a cracker at Dundalk in December; stablemate Lexi’s Hero (from 5) is equally likely to get to the front early, and also goes well off the break.

Both Dickie’s Lad (6.2 this morning), for whom Ryan has Wokingham and Stewards’ Cup hopes, and Lexi’s Hero (7.8) have won over 6f and, on today’s surface, this extra edge of stamina will come in useful as the sapping pace takes its toll.

6.20 Kempton Park (Back or Lay betdaq.com Fillies Handicap): Sasheen is a crazy price, 9.2 in a six-runner race, for one who could get an easy lead from stall one.

7.30 Kempton Park (Betdaq Casino Games Handicap): The promising Arctic Galaxy has to give weight all round on his handicap debut but, with the exception of one or two poor sorts on the bottom rung, there’s only 5lb between the contestants and he should get on the winning rung.

BET: 6.6pts win THARAWAL LADY (1.35 Chester)
BET: 9.1pts win BETTERBETTERBETTER and 3.8pts win CUBANITA (2.05 Chester)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 4.6pts win OVERTURN and, already ante-post, 3.4pts win at 9.8 GULF OF NAPLES (2.35 Chester)
BET 3.8pts win DICKIE’S LAD and 2.9pts win LEXI’S HERO (3.05 Chester)
BET 2.4pts win SASHEEN (6.20 Kempton Park)
BET 5pts win (nap) ARCTIC GALAXY (7.30 Kempton Park)
HORSES TO FOLLOW: Gulf Of Naples (2.35 Chester)

* 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.

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