BIG-RACE BANKER LANDS VALUE: Daqman relied on his banker to get him out of trouble yesterday on a day when only half the field finished in the December Gold Cup. Hargam (WON 8-11) was better than even money (2.2 nap) in morning exchanges on BETDAQ.

GET ON 15.5 AND 12.0 OUTSIDERS: There’s another banker at Navan today, where Daqman considers a 15.5 offer this morning was ‘huge’. And he has early positions on two 12.0 shots on BETDAQ in one race at Carlisle.


12.25 Navan Kildare trainer Sean Byrne is getting 100% out of his horses just now, according to Racing Post figures. In a small yard that can be 100% of not much at all.

But the Wexford winner, Catimini (exchanged at 12.0 this morning), showed up well in a similar big field at Fairyhouse. She could be in the first three all the way, dropped back in trip, and kept up to her work by Kevin Sexton, who won the Troytown for me on Balbriggan,

12.55 Navan Willie Mullins’ form figures for this Grade 2 over the last six years are 12-111, including Mikael d’Haguenet and Boston Bob, and Shaneshill has the CV to continue the trend.

The quintet of runners today have scored in 14 races and been placed in 29 starts, all those with penalties having won last time out.

But, when winning his races, Shaneshill has beaten the winners of 37 events under Rules, more than the rest of the field put together (Couleur France 9, No More Heroes 7, Shantou Flyer 6, Pulled Mussel 3). Collateral form or what!

1.30 Navan (Tara Hurdle) It takes a decent animal to win this Grade B (Solerina scored in it twice) and all successful in the decade have come from the top half of the handicap, horses with quality form.

Baily Green is looking for a confidence-restoring round over hurdles, after a fall early on in the John Durkan. Jennies Jewel also leaves fences behind in her bid for back-to-back wins in this race, just a pound higher than last year.

She ran up to Annie Power in the Mares’ Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown festival in the Spring and, with her touch of class, is a huge price at offers of 15.5 this morning.

Dara Tango should enjoy the drop back in trip after an exploratory third over 3m at Haydock, and Lite Duties is on the upgrade.

The lightly-weighted youngsters, Harvey Logan and Roll It Out, look even more threatening, but a lot depends on the ground for them. ‘Harvey’; doesn’t want any more rain, while it can’t get soft enough for Roll It Out.

2.35 Navan (Foxrock Chase) A Grade-C chase, switched from the January meeting. Abbey Lane was Grade B over hurdles, 7lb higher than his current chase mark, which reflects his poor jumping to date.

His switch to a handicap here takes a stone off his back but he’s still a maiden over fences and a nervous favourite in the morning markets.

In contrast, Fever Pitch jumps well. He needs time between his races but it’s good when a trainer knows where he is with a horse. I recall an interview before Cheltenham yesterday when the comments included: ‘I don’t really know if this is his trip and how he should be ridden’. I was – thankfully – put off having a bet, but thanks for the honesty.

There are several here with claims, hence the 7.8 about Fever Pitch, but he is consistent and half this field has fallen sometime during each horse’s last six recorded starts.


2.25 Carlisle The best of Carlisle today is this 24lb-range hurdles handicap which matches a Grand National hero with a maiden-hurdle winner and not much depth to the in-between.

Pineau De Re was third at the Cheltenham festival in the final of this Pertemps series in March, his last run before winning at Aintree.

He looked a long way off the boil on his first run back a month or so ago but also ran stinkers before winning in 2011 (beaten 20 lengths) and 2013 (beaten 158 lengths). So I had a pound at 12.5 this morning.

But I took another 12.0 in the race, Rolling Maul, who has tackled hot company since winning a novice event over this CD in October. Has a featherweight, thanks to Sean Bowen’s claim.

Southwell has maidens, novices, amateurs and mares in small fields. The punishment is severe.

DAQMAN’S BETS (Strength 1 to 9; banker is 10).
BET 1pt win and place CATIMINI (12.25 Navan)
BANKER: BET 10pts win (nap) SHANESHILL (12.55 Navan)
BET 3pts win and place JENNIES JEWEL (1.30 Navan)
BET 1pt win and place on each ROLLING MAUL and PINEAU DE RE (2.25 Carlisle)
BET 3pts win FEVER PITCH (2.35 Navan)

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