VIRTUAL GRAND NATIONAL ON TV NEXT SATURDAY: The Grand National will be ‘run’ next Saturday. But the race, of the 40 most likely to have been there for real, will be on computer in a simulation proposed by ITV1, using algorithms and animation to recreate the world’s greatest race.

A second ‘race’, of past winners, will also be staged, bringing together Red Rum and Tiger Roll. Daqman will document the form and facts for both races. Today’s headlines:



LOOK OUT NEXT WEEK: DAQMAN IS AHEAD OF THE GAME AS USUAL: He tells BETDAQ Tips today: ‘I have already run a past-winners Grand National on computer for an English newspaper a few years ago.

‘Next week, I will reveal the result, but first I need to tackle the problem of adding more recent top-flight winners to the ‘race’.

‘This time it will have to be run in my head! But I’ll bring you all the facts and figures I use, so that you’ll be ready for the ITV past-champions race.’

Daqman will also bring you form and opinion for the simulation of this year’s race. Would Tiger Roll have landed the hat-trick?

TODAY: IRISH LINCOLNSHIRE PICK IS FIRST 2020 FORTUNE COOKIE: Daqman also writes today on a racing mystery which contains a medley of memories connected with great trainers of the past, Dan Moore and Tom Dreaper.

Right on song, he reckons he would have had the winner of today’s Irish Lincolnshire. Nothing lost, he makes it his first Fortune Cookie of the 2020 Flat season.


There’s great; then there’s the greatest. Those of you with long memories, long beards, or simply a love of racing history, might recall an Irish horse called Quita Que.

Quita Que was the first ever Champion Chase winner in 1959, trained by Dan Moore, who would go on to saddle dual Gold Cup (1970-71) and Grand National winner, L’Escargot

Moore took the race again with Inkslinger but it was Tom Dreaper who was the mainstay of Irish domination of the Champion Chase, taking it six times.

He began with Fortria (1960-1), and among them was Flyingbolt (1966), second in many ‘greatest chaser lists’ to the incredible Arkle, also trained by the non-pareil Dreaper.

Pat Taaffe rode Fortria, Flyingbolt AND Arkle. Eat your heart out Ruby Walsh and Tony McCoy: you may have been great but you didn’t ride the greatest.

Why remember Quita Que when I’m supposedly writing about the Irish Lincolnshire? Well, when you recall the past or read racing history, you get long-lost links keying in your fancies and favourites from past glories gained.

I was thinking that last year’s Irish Lincolnshire win was quite a coup, and that led me to Quita Que, and it wasn’t such a crazy synapse; the chase was on from one neuron to another.

You see, the question still remains: why was the horse called Quita Que? At the time, apparently, it created huge arguments and a lot of wry comments from connections, never really giving the game away.

Language purists reckoned it could not represent the Spanish because they only ever use the negative ‘no quita que’ meaning, ironically, ‘it doesn’t mean that!”

Latin then; it must be Latin. But quita que translates as ‘who quit?’ So, it’s possible, if you imagine it’s like ‘who me, quit?’ with the subtle rejoinder ‘not me’ or ‘not this horse; he’s no quitter!

There were some who said the phrase simply referred to Mick O’Toole’s local chip shop, where there was ‘quite a queue.’

But the conspiracy theorists among punters, who imagine that twists and plots abide in every page of the form book, were certain of what it meant, and backed the horse accordingly, with excellent results: QUITE A COUP!


FORTUNE COOKIES Last year’s Irish Lincolnshire on this day at Naas represented quite a coup for Ger Lyons when he saddled a five-year-old, unknown in Ireland.

Karawaan had won only on the AW at Chelmsford for Sir Michael Stoute and was having his first race for Lyons.

But punters realised that he must have something going for him, as favourite five times in his last six starts for Stoute, though only a maiden winner (which was a black mark against him, to my eyes).

But Karawaan showed his courage, and the skills of Stoutie’s training, when he came between horses to lead a furlong or so out and powered almost three lengths clear.

The second one home was similarly sprung upon the home crowd, as a winner for John Quinn and David O’Meara in England having his first start for Naul-based Damian Joseph English.

So two unseen in Ireland were one-two in the opening big handicap of the 2019 Flat turf season, both without a run!

Trading Point would have been in today’s field at the Curragh – just a pound higher than last year – though no longer so heavily disguised. Who can blame a small trainer for trying again.

But, getting 6lb from him – and my selection – would have been Patrick Sarsfield, a four-year-old Australia gelding, trained by Joseph O’Brien.

Patrick Sarsfield is another to have changed stables. In fact, he’s done it twice with only four races on his CV, but Joseph boosted his form considerably in the autumn.

And he clearly knew he was a ‘hidden horse’ in advance of two races of 17 runners and 14 at Cork and the Curragh, because he started 2-1 on and 5-1 on.

Gelded since, Patrick Sarsfield could be a Group horse in a handicap and warrants our first Fortune Cookie of the Flat season delayed.

He will have been produced at home for the Irish Lincolnshire and seems sure to bag a big prize as soon as.