17.5 AND 12.5 OFFERS HAVE CLOUT IN THE KERRY NATIONAL: Daqman’s naps form is 2112213 and he’s landed six lays out of the last eight but he likes to win big, so is lured by the Kerry National at Listowel today with morning bets at 17.5 and 12.5 on BETDAQ.

JACKET’S OFF IN BETDAQ RACE: Daqman describes early offers he took about Shooting Jacket in one of the BETDAQ races at Kempton Park tonight as a ‘monster’ price.

I can’t resist a flutter when I see the name ‘National’. I think to myself: find a strong stayer at a fair trade that likes the going, and you have a good bet in the bag.

In fact, today’s Kerry National at Listowel is only 3m but it will surely be a stamina test in the prevailing heavy ground, and a test, too, of stable fitness, which is always the big question at this time of the jumping year.

The stats dictate a desirable rating is required: a yard that knows it has a quality animal also has to have the nous to get a mid-handicap position.

Only one horse has carried more than 11st 3lb in the last nine years but, equally, only one has carried less than 10st 5lb since 2003. No winner has been of a double-figure age in the decade.

So what about the stables in form? Step forward the usual suspects: Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are in full stride, Elliott with his last four form figures 3123 but Mullins showing an incredible 14 in the frame from his last 18 starters.

In theory, we’ve halved the number of contenders, and we have Mullins (Themoonandsixpence) and Elliott (Jamsie Hall) on the short-list. So what about the form?

3.15 Yarmouth First let’s take a look at the classier contests on the Flat in England at Sandown and Yarmouth, with this Listed usually going to a late-developing three-year-old.

That stat points up Emirates Queen and Qaadira, on a trajectory until soft ground brought them down to earth in the same race at Salisbury. Emirates Queen was hot favourite that day (with Qaadira 20-1) and is now seen by the market as the only threat to Timepiece.

The Group-1 winner appears different class but the 6.0 Emirates Queen allows us to have a tilt at her, win and place.

4.00 Sandown (Fortune Stakes) Tazahum has been a disappointment this year, winning only a class-2 conditions race before being found out at Group-3 level.

Sir Michael Stoute has a knack of improving his older horses but this one strikes me as a horse without pace and I see him making a price for Gabrial.

Gabrial, who faced the likes of Frankel and Farhh in Group 1, also failed in a Group 3, but that was over further. He was eased when beaten and now, dropped back to a mile, and with Richard Hughes in the saddle, looks a bet, getting 4lb from Tazahum.

I can’t have Fulbright. He’s a very useful handicapper but couldn’t cope at Listed level last time, so I’m surprised to see him raised in class, though I confess I know less about him than the trainer!

4.05 Listowel (Kerry National) I started listing those that had never won at 3m and found it easy to write down those that had!

Caduceus, Campbonais, King Ali, Ponmeoath, Start Me Up, Themoonandsixpence, Wellforth.. that’s your lot! But you’d have to say that Alpine Eagle, Casey Top, Our Victoria, Jamsie Hall and Deal Done have all suggested they might do well at the trip.

King Ali and Ponmeoath are too old, according to the stats, which also downgrade them as modest lightweights.

As a winner over hurdles at 2m 5f, David Pipe’s raider, Premier Dane, should get the trip but will he act on the ground? He, too, is a double-figure age.

Casey Top and Wellforth are expected to make the running. The ground is a big worry for Fosters Cross, The Moonandsixpence and Campbonais.

If you are looking for a horse that stays, goes well fresh and likes the ground, it would have to be Caduceus so that, though only 6.8, he could be even shorter on a tick-box basis.

The annual battle for champion owner between Gigginstown (Start Me Up, 12.5 on BETDAQ under Davy Russell) and J P McManus (Alpine Eagle, 17.5 Tony McCoy) is a feature of the race, with both teams employing current champion jockeys.

6.15 Kempton Park One of four consecutive BETDAQ sponsored races. The man to be on, according to the stats, is trainer Al Zarooni, with 100% record in nurseries on the course, and jockey Mickael Barzalona still on a high from his defeat of Camelot in the St Leger.

Shooting Jacket is a monster 7.2 on BETDAQ this morning, first time in a handicap, having been eased down twice on soft turf and slow Polytrack. Conditions will suit tonight.

BET 4pts win and place EMIRATES QUEEN (3.15 Yarmouth)
BET 6.6pts win (nap) GABRIAL (4.00 Sandown)
BET 3.4pts win CADUCEUS, 1.7pts win START ME UP, 1.2pts win and place ALPINE EAGLE (4.05 Listowel)
BET 3.2pts win SHOOTING JACKET (6.15 Kempton Park)

* Daqman’s bets are staked to win 20 points, so you always know what Betdaq offers he took when he made his selection (divide 20 by the stake). Points are what you make them: if you bet in fivers, 2pts win is £10.

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