SCOTTISH CUP IS CANCELLED: Musselburgh has been forced to cancel its Scottish Cup meeting today, after heavy rain; the Jumps fixture at Newton Abbot is also lost but there are no inspections planned for Sunday and Monday meetings in the holiday weekend.

THERE’S A DERBY AT MEYDAN: Daqman leads Pricewise 4-2 in the stop-start season since the first days of the Flat but there are no Pricewise selections today for Cork (Flat) and Haydock (NH), and Daqman’s bets at Meydan match Pricewise only for the turf races, Dubai Gold Cup, Al Quoz Sprint and Sheema Classic..


⚠️ HEAVY GOING: Daqman says: take care how you bet. Punters are at the end of one season (with many tired horses) and the beginning of another (with fresh horses and form not settled).

And the four turf meetings that remain today in England (Haydock and Carlisle) and Ireland (Cork and Fairyhouse) are all being staged on SOFT/HEAVY going.


THE GROUND SUITS COLTRANE

⭕ 12.40 Meydan (Dubai Gold Cup, Turf, £457k) Aidan O’Brien has runners in all bar the Sprint of the big four races with Ryan Moore’s mount, Tower Of London, favourite for the Gold Cup, which O’Brien won last year with Broome from Siskany (William Buick for Charlie Appleby).

Tower Of London, the Doncaster St Leger fourth, came back to winning form in February in a Group-3 handicap at Riyadh, the second and third, Enemy (Ian Williams) – winner of the Classic here last season – and Giavellotto (Marco Botti), taking him on again.

Eldar Eldarov (James Doyle for Roger Varian) won the 2022 Doncaster St Leger and the 2023 Irish St Leger but today is 2m.

Low numbers do best in the draw (1 to 5 are four out of seven) and Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Coltrane (Oisin Murphy for Andrew Balding out of 4) will appreciate the top of the ground. In-form Siskany is out of 6.

Betdaq Betting Exchange 4.9 each Coltrane and Siskany

⭕ 1.15 Meydan (Al Quoz Sprint, Turf, £650k) Frankie Dettori’s first mount of the day, Star of Mystery for Charlie Appleby, has the plum draw on the stats but three-year-olds don’t win this. That also applies to Frost Of Dawn.

UAE-trained Danyah (Jim Crowley) was a surprise 33-1 winner last year, and double-figure odds have won 5-7, with just one favourite scoring in that time.

American-raider California Spangle (BETDAQ 5.6), top-rated off 123, has been laid out for this and was back to form the last day.

⭕ 1.50 Meydan (UAE Derby, Dirt, £457k) Aidan O’Brien runs the Lagardere and Dewhurst fourth Henry Adams (Ryan Moore, 5) and Navy Seal (Wayne Lordan, 10) in this short-run Derby of 1m 1.5f.

Low numbers are dominant in the draw but rear runners out of 10 and 13 (twice) have upset the stats three times in eight seasons, and only one outright favourite has won.

Stamina-laden Forever Young (11) won the Saudi Derby from a wide gate and could go for a thrilling finish, but Mendelssohn Bay (2) took the UAE 2,000 Guineas and his sire broke the track record in today’s race.

⭕ 4.00 Meydan (Sheema Classic, Turf, £2,740,157) A stunning field for a stunning prize, headed by English and Irish Derby winner Auguste Rodin for O’Brien and Moore.

He is chased by Liberty Island who was seen off by last year’s winner of this, world-champion Equinox, in the Japan Cup.

Emily Upjohn (Kieran Shoemark replaces Frankie Dettori) beat the colts in the Coronation Cup after flopping under Dettori twice in the King George.


PLAYING SAINT FOR THE FINAL

⭕ 2.05 Haydock (Two-Mile Hurdle Series Final) Only one winner of this has carried more than 10st 13lb and Brentford Hope’s 12st on ‘Haydock soft’ looks a tough call.

But his class-3 sequence of 121 was broken only by his third in the Gerry Feilden (Grade 3) in December. In fact, he’s been out of the frame just the once in 10 hurdle starts since November 2022.

Playful Saint (BETDAQ 5.0) was also third trying the leap into Grade 3, but that was the Imperial Cup and he gave weight away to the first two.

Milldam, who was getting 9lb from Playful Saint when he won a neck at Stratford, had beaten The Churchill Lad at levels in February (Catterick heavy); El Jefe modest third.

⭕ 2.40 Haydock (Stayers Hurdle Series Final) Jonjo O’Neil targets this race, skilfully placing his winners into the 11st 4lb to 11st 6lb bracket (three of them) but seems to have miscalculated this time with Judicial Law saddled with 12st in heavy ground.

Six-year-olds do best but Tanganyika (won one by 25 lengths, lost the next by 20 lengths) needs to be on his best behaviour.

There’s not much between him and Astronomic View; they were one-two at Bangor in December.

But Goshhowposh came unstuck (or rather, became stuck) when pulling up on his first encounter with heavy ground, though connections have applied blinkers now, as if he was his own worst enemy that day. Secret Trix has a tongue-tie added to the cheekpieces.

Shoeshine Boy is up in grade for his hat-trick but gets into this off a featherweight and 9.7 on BETDAQ is tempting.

I can’t see why Doughmore Boy was backed early on, so I’ll bet another 9.5 that Tanganyika goes through the lakes and the mud.

DAQMAN’S BETS

12.40 Meydan (win 20)
BET 5pts win COLTRANE
BET 5pts win SISKANY

1.15 Meydan (win 20)
BET 4.25pts win CALIFORNIA SPANGLE

1.50 Meydan (win 20)
BET 4.5pts win MENDELSSOHN BAY

2.05 Haydock (win 20)
BET 5pts win PLAYFUL SAINT

2.40 Haydock (win-50 bull’s-eye bets
BET 5.75pts win TANGANYIKA
BET 5.75pts win SHOESHINE BOY

4.00 Meydan (win 20, nap)
BET 10pts win AUGUSTE RODIN


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