19.5, 18.0 and 16.0 FINALE FLUTTERS: There’s a final-fling 19.5 Bull’s-Eye Bet for Daqman early on at Doncaster, where the fat lady sings for the end of the Flat season. He then takes 16.0 and 18.0 offers in the November Handicap, picking up his challenge to Pricewise.

EARLY-DAY DOUBLE OF BANKERS: He tries a double of bankers in the early races, his challenge to the Racing Post value column continuing at Wincanton (2.40 and 3.15). Here’s how Daqman stands as the Flat gives way to the Jumps:

BANKERS: 12 out of 15
BULL’S-EYE BETS: 204 points profit
FLAT CHALLENGE: Daqman 69, Pricewise 32


1.30 Saint-Cloud The champion Team Hannon stable is celebrating in Paris with a bid to add another £120,000 to the £5m or so earned by the yard in 2014.

They are represented by Crafty Choice in the Criterium De Saint-Cloud two-year-old test, won this century by such notables as Andre Fabre’s Sagacity and Aidan O’Brien’s Fame And Glory.

Ballydoyle is an absentee this time around but Ireland has a big player in Clonard Street, Tony Martin’s Beresford Stakes runner-up.

Hot dangers are the one-two in a recent Group 3, Epicuris (from the Treve stable) and Big Blue for Fabre, while Germany – fresh from its Melbourne Cup success – fields Palang.


1.50 Doncaster Levitate won this a year ago off a 3lb higher mark and had an even better run on the same Ascot card three weeks ago than the one which prepped him for this last season.

Three-year-olds have won this twice in the last four years from below 9st., and Richard Fahey has had eight winners in November so far, all pointing up Roachdale House (19.5 on BETDAQ this morning)

He’s a CD scorer who’s had a break since August. I believe this is his target race, and that his form is disguised by running tight tracks.

3.00 Doncaster It’s 5-5 between the generations and a fair split today between three-year-olds and four-year-olds.

Ralph Beckett’s current form figures in the race are 1310, and Melrose Abbey was too big at 10.0 in 1 106% BETDAQ orange, early mouse. Group-1 runner-up Princess Loulou is the obvious danger.

3.35 Doncaster (November Handicap) One of the arts of betting is to find a race in which you can oppose the favourite, whether to lay that horse or play another in the massively-reduced percentages against you in the remaining book. Or both.

If you’d laid the SP favourite in this final-fling big race, you’d have had 18 straight returns. You certainly win when you lose on the November Handicap!

As for finding the winner elsewhere in the market, you seemingly want a top trainer (Hannon, Gosden, Haggas) or top handicap yard (Charlton, Beckett, Ellison); pretty much the usual suspects, in fact.

Until the last two years, ages three and four had dominated (10 from 11) and three-year-olds have had four of the top five in the fixed-odds markets all week.

One key race seems to be Old Town Boy’s win at York a month ago, from which third, fourth and fifth, Aramist (6lb better off with the winner), Esteaming and Ardlui (both 7lb better), are now poised for revenge, all drawn high. Old Town Boy is in the one stall.

Previous Doncaster form among the four-year-olds is one of top trends: that brings in the Town Moor race a fortnight back, when Latenightrequest beat Dashing Star (8lb better now). Open Eagle (only 5lb better) was fourth.

Open Eagle, third in the November last year, was the one taken out of the race by many ‘experts’. He now has a 4lb penalty for winning at Redcar over shorter on Tuesday. He had to win to get into today’s race. But will it come too soon.

Plutocracy, a progressive three-year-old, came back only three weeks ago, and looks aimed at this, with cheekpieces first time and Pat Smullen booked.

But the David Lanigan yard has had a quiet year, and the ground is a concern, as it is for two more lightly-raced sorts, Odeon and Mount Logan.

Luca Cumani certainly seems to mean business with Andrea Atzeni booked for Mount Logan and Richard Hughes on Sir Walter Scott, who’s has only six races in his life. This is his first start since being gelded.

With several runners unexposed, we have to ‘lose’ some somehow, and the stats say we need a high number on soft ground. The last four renewals on the soft produced winners from 14, 20, 21 and 22, and the word is that today will be heavy.

Of the stayers, I’m tempted by First Mohican. It would cap a mighty season for Louis Steward, if he could get this hurdler home (at 16.0 on BETDAQ early mouse) in a 109% punter-friendly book (Total SP last two years: 129 and 132%).

First Mohican was a massive gamble in this race two years ago, when trained by Sir Henry Cecil, but the ground was too fast, and high numbers were at a disadvantage that day, swept off their feet. He’s been a disappointment but has had a holiday and been specially prepared for this.

Today is so wide open, the orange shows 13.5 the field as I write. I took 18.0 Plutocracy, hoping he can handle the ground.


12.30 Kelso Nicky Richards is 11100 (still standing) in this novices’-hurdle opener, and has saddled four winners in November so far, with Looking Well looking good for this.

Improving on his bumper form (through Major Ivan), Looking Well was staying on over Ayr’s 2m as if today’s 2m 6f would see him in a different light. His pedigree says he could get up to 3m 2f.

2.30 Sandown At last a competitive contest for punters to make a Sound Investment? The eponymous Paul Nicholls six-year-old was sent out over hurdles, stepped up to 2m 6f to prove his stamina recently, and this 2m 4f+ chase (he’s a course winner and a distance winner) is right up his street.

But it’s a rare long (19lb) handicap these days, and another Somerset yard, with another potential stayer – Philip Hobbs with Filbert – is getting a lump of weight and is up in trip.

2.50 Kelso Swift Arrow won this last year off 6lb lower, but showed he was progressive, winning again off a higher mark, and he had a decent run back on this course in October.


1.30 Wincanton Some fine animals have won this – Wishfull Thinking, Silviniaco Conti, Houblon des Obeaux – but there could be another here, a quality Paul Nicholls runner, Southfield Theatre. Nicholls form in this is 1113121, still standing.

2.40 Wincanton (Badger Ales Trophy) The spoils from seven winners in the decade have been split be tween Nichols and David Pipe, with Pipe’s Standing Ovation going for a repeat 11lb higher than when he had Court By Surprise well behind in third last year.

As the rain fell this morning, Court By Surprise cut loose from his market moorings, out to 15.5, and Pantxoa drifted like a lonely dog on a raft, right over the betting weir to 37.0 on BETDAQ, as I write.

Standing Ovation stood his ground as favourite (pun intended) but his form on soft-heavy is 400000. The Young Master was next but he’s never won – not even been placed – on a righthanded track (5-9 going left).

The softer the better for the Nicholls pair, Just A Par and Benvolio, but I can’t have Bennys Mist (too high in the handicap and 6-7 successes in New Year or Spring).

There was a strong word this morning for Golden Chieftain, a winner at the Cheltenham Festival of 2013 before losing his way, but everything has gone right in the run up to this, and he just blew up for lack of a run behind Standing Ovation, back at Cheltenham on the last day.

3.15 Wincanton (Elite Hurdle) Paul Nicholls has won this with a Champion Hurdle and World Hurdle runner-up, and a Triumph Hurdle winner.

Irving, only ninth in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, doesn’t have those credentials yet but the presence of Nicholls’ old champion hurdler, Rock On Ruby off 160 (which is 11st 10lb here), keeps the weights down in this limited handicap.

It’s like a Ditcheat party with Harry Fry now training Rock On Ruby and Dan Skelton fielding a four-year-old grey, Bertimont. There was a hat-trick of winners that age, two of them for Nicholls, at the turn of the century.

Irving is four-from-four going right-handed but is a short price (less than 2-1 this morning). He has to give 10lb to Forgotten Voice, a Group-3 winner on the Flat and a Grade-2 novice hurdler.

The rain again is the snag. All Forgotten Voice’s success has come on a sound surface and, as I drove past the W ncanton track this morning, I needed my windscreen-wipers on fast as you go, just to see where I was going.

Where am I going in this race? I think I’m looking for a turn-up, of sorts. Hint Of Mint has finished in front of Purple Bay and Forgotten Voice the last twice and – only five and potentially improving a ton – has not been given the credit he deserves, as an 11.0 offer here.

DAQMAN’S BETS (all bets staked to win 20 points, except the bankers and bull’s-eye bet to win 50)
BANKER: BET 20pts win (nap) LOOKING WELL (12.30 Kelso)
BANKER: BET 20pts win SOUTHFIELD THEATRE (1.30 Wincanton)
BULL’S-EYE BET: 2.7pts win ROACHDALE HOUSE and 1.3pts win (stakes saver) LEVITATE (1.50 Doncaster)
BET 2.5pts win FILBERT and 1.7pts win SOUND INVESTMENT (2.30 Sandown)
BET 2pts win and place GOLDEN CHIEFTAIN (2.40 Wincanton)
BET 7pts win SWIFT ARROW (2.50 Kelso)
BET 2.2pts win MELROSE ABBEY and 1pt win (stakes saver) PRINCESS LOULOU (3.00 Doncaster)
BET 2pts win and place HINT OF MINT (3.15 Wincanton)
BET 1.3pts win and place FIRST MOHICAN, and 1.1pts win and place PLUTOCRACY (3.35 Doncaster)

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