DAQMAN ONE-TWO FROM THREE TIPS: Daqman praises Nico De Boinville today but it’s through gritted teeth after the jockey beat his 29.0 BETDAQ bet L’Eau Du Sud, win and place in the big hurdle yesterday.

The three runners remaining in Daqman’s 1-2-3-4 included the winner, Iberico Lord (won 11-2).

WIN (w/p 2nd 28-1) L’EAU DU SUD

Daqman 25, Pricewise 9 (+261.66 to -290.83)

TODAY: Exeter survives despite heavy rain
TOMORROW: Verdict on the Cheltenham outsiders


Having a laugh, wasn’t he? I’m talking about the bookmaker who announced through the ITV crew that he was cutting Shishkin to 6-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after he won the Grade 2 at Newbury yesterday.

The 9.0 on BETDAQ Sportsbook was much more in keeping with trainer Nicky Henderson’s view: ‘Yes, he might as well run in the Gold Cup as not; there’s nowhere else to go.’

Shishkin was ‘a character.’ No doubt about that but ‘we’re in control of him now’ was said with fingers crossed and reflects the hard work and handling that has to go into him and the riding skills of Nico De Boinville.

Shishkin seldom made his fans truly comfortable yesterday, and Henderson must have wished he’d dared try cheekpieces again but Shishkin turned away and refused to race when they were put on at Ascot in November.

They must also have tried him in blinkers at home, and glad I wasn’t there to watch!

It was left entirely to Nico De Boinville to keep the beast happy and have him straight on the landing side of the fences, left leaning but with right hand down – like some errant racing car that corners badly – in a bid to avoid him hanging left or kicking himself, as he had done the last day when crashing out of his lead in the King George.

‘It’s just a matter of keeping him interested,’ said De Boinville, who proceeded to show us in the big hurdle just what this highly competent jockey can do when engaged with a horse, Iberico Lord, who is on his side.

Positioning, jumping, finish.. perfect, perfect, perfect, as he took the £87k prize from BETDAQ 29.0 shot Eau Du Sud on the run-in, the pair clear.

The race was marred for some when the favourite, Ocastle Des Mottes, my third choice remaining after Brentford Hope dropped out, stood calmly to be reshod, but rebelled at the vets trying to check him out again. He lost a shoe, lost his patience and lost the race; but he’ll be back.


⭕ 3.35 Exeter This Pertemps qualifier produced the winners of the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham in 2014 (Fingal Bay) and the Albert Bartlett in 2016 (Unowhatimeanharry).

Philip Hobbs, who trained Fingal Bay, has Goshowposh off a low mark today, too low for his Cheltenham ambitions.

His 10lb rise started with a CD win here in October and he scored again at Wincanton on Boxing Day in an earlier qualifier.

But he is still only on 127, and needs this to get into the Final and stand any chance of winning. I know that Hobbs has been encouraged to go novice chasing with this son of Malinas.

But connections are looking forward to Cheltenham and a race which has gone to 141-142 rated in the three of the last four seasons, with 134 the lowest (carrying 10st 9lb).

Mill Green (138 then, carrying 11st 5lb), was three lengths or so third in the Pertemps Final last March, after third the year before, also on 138 but carrying 10st 8lb in a much stronger race.

Mill Green is 12 now and hasn’t won a race since May, 2021, but you could argue that this is his Cheltenham, just as it was for Shishkin and Edwardstone yesterday.

When Nurse Susan landed my nap at Lingfield recently, Gowell Road was third, giving a stone, with Angels Breath fourth. They are others to consider today.


🔺FORTUNE COOKIES: Daqman suspended them and, sure enough, the last two qualifiers, The Doyen Chief and Edwardstone, have both won. Twas ever thus.

Too many Cheltenham form horses became either very short priced standouts or were either/or for different races, dominated by the big training strings. Too many of the usual trials cut up badly because of their dominance or were lost to the weather.

So those who have stuck with it are gleaning from second-X1 players and they might have another winner today.

⭕ 4.05 Exeter BETDAQ 3.55 this morning, Malina Girl has already scored for the Fortune Cookies team, winning a Grade 3 at Cheltenham in November, but was a faller when going easily back at Cheltenham in the week before Christmas.

Hopefully, she’s ready to roll again after a quiet run since with top weight in the Warwick Classic, tailed off but keeping her rating.

Runner-up that day, Galia Des Liteaux, stayed on well in first-time cheekpieces, second again after running Pink Legend close in a mares’ Listed at Newbury.

As her rating suggests, close to 20lb off Galia and Malina, Kestrel Valley’s winning sequence was against lesser lights. Carole’s Pass has not won since leaving the novice ranks but finished just ahead of Pink Legend late last year.

⭕ 4.35 Exeter 10-year-olds have only missed first prize once in this, and many veterans handicaps go to the young blood.

Ask Me Early won five out of six in 2021 and Harry Fry hopes that cheekpieces can restore the grey’s zest and concentration. The Betdaq Betting Exchange 10.5 gives us a chance.


3.35 Exeter (win 20, nap)

4.05 Exeter (win 12)

4.35 Exeter (win 20)
BET 2pts win and place ASK ME EARLY

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