KNIGHT NAP MAKES DAQMAN’S DAY: Daqman’s nap, which landed 12 out of 19, including seven in a row, up to Wednesday, was back in form yesterday in good time for Royal Ascot with Baltic Knight (WON 2-1), one of two big winners for a Saturday profit of 31 points.
HE BOWLS BODY-LINE VALUE AT 11.0 ON BETDAQ: He also landed Body And Soul (WON 7-1 from 11.0 on BETDAQ), power winner of the very next prize, the Sprint Trophy at York. Morawij (WON 10-11) covered his other big-race bets.
The French are floating some big ships today. Our defence of the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in August – won for the last two years by Frankel – is at stake as Flotilla bids for a hat-trick in the Prix De Diane at Chantilly.
Five winners of this French Oaks (1m 2f) have won the Arc, the latest Zarkava in 2008, but hat-trick-seeking Flotilla is said to be headed for Goodwood if she is successful or nearly so today, returning to a mile instead of stepping up further in trip.
We could take this as a warning that she might not stay this afternoon, with Silasol and Esoterique to beat in the Diane on ‘middle ground’ (good to soft) in a race with a reputation for a mix of shock results and Arc-class heroines.
American-bred, out of a Sinndar mare, Flotilla was only fourth in the fillies’ Criterium at Longchamp in October but, when she went back home as it were, on a sound surface, at Santa Anita, she took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Fillies).
Both sire and dam had superior careers switched to America, better than they had had in Europe, and that’s how I analysed Flotilla when she contested the French 1,000 Guineas.
But she was lucky that day. The Longchamp surface, which usually rides deep, was officially ‘good’ for the Classic, and she won it in on the line in record time.
Coronation Stakes! That was the pundits’ chorus after the race but she won’t be at Royal Ascot on Friday to take on our own 1,000 Guineas winner, Sky Lantern, who was a long way adrift of her (hampered) in that Breeders Cup.
Sky Lantern instead faces Irish 1,000 winner, Just The Judge, whom she beat at Newmarket, and the winner of that rematch could well be facing Flotilla at Goodwood.
Chasing our Guineas duo in the market for the Coronation Stakes is Pavlosk, another American-bred, supplemented yesterday by Sir Michael Stoute, despite having won only a Listed race on the soft at York last month.
2.45 Chantilly (Prix De Diane) Three fillies in the last decade have won the Pouliches (1,000 Guineas) and then taken this race. Otherwise, the Prix Saint-Alary (two) is the best guide.
Eight out of 10 Diane winners had had four races or fewer before their Oaks day; seven out of 10 had sires with a stallion-stamina index from 9.1 to 12.2.
Flotilla’s sire is spot on 9 furlongs and, though her dam is by Sinndar, 10 furlongs is seemingly as far as the family wants to go and Flotilla, who has had six races, has shown her best form on good or firm ground.
Five-times-raced Silasol (sire Monsun 12.2) won the Saint-Alary (1m 2f), so Diane-Arc was always her route.
Esoterique had beaten her a length and a half over 1m 1f at Longchamp in April before that one ran a neck second to Flotilla in the Pouliches, only the third race of her life.
But Esoterique would be the first winner of the Diane this century by a sire with as low a stamina index as 8.3 and Silasol tried to make all when Esoterique beat her that April day.
The lightly-raced likely improver would have to be one of Baltic Baroness (4 runs so far), Chicquita or Treve (two each).
Baltic Baroness appears to be stable second-string to Godolphin-owned Tasaday, third in the Pouliches, though four lengths adrift of Flotilla and Esoterique.
Aussie-owned Chicquita, a typical talented but kinky Montjeu, somersaulted in the stands’ side hedge when she swerved with a Saint-Cloud race in safekeeping (did I say ‘safe’) under Derby-winning jockey Antoine Hamelin.
Treve is a Motivator filly with nothing much in the form book so far and only modest winners up to Listed level in her family history on the dam’s side.
Esoterique and Flotilla vie for favouritism with Silasol easy to back, as I write, and with Chicquita the wild card (and I did say ‘wild’) at 40.0 on BETDAQ.
While much depends on the true state of the ground at Chantilly, I’ll take Silasol as the value 5.6, with the stamina doubts about Flotilla and Esoterique.
4.00 Salisbury (Cathedral Stakes) Professor, who swerves the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, would land a hat-trick for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes in this after Elnawin and Libranno in the last two seasons.
Hannon’s current record in the race is 10211 and Hughes is 1311. The last five winners have been rated 104-109, with four of them coming from stalls 5 and 6. Professor (off 109) is in 5.
Apart from Professor, only Spiritual Star comes within those ratings parameters but there is an improver in the race, Hallelujah, currently on 101.
I have no choice but to make Hallelujah a saver bet here, since I put the mare up for the Wokingham Stakes early in the week at 22.0 on BETDAQ.
I can’t complain about her taking this pattern route instead: she has only to be placed in this Salisbury Listed to get some black type to boost her paddocks value.
Of course, she’s still in the Wokingham call-over with all the bookies on Oddschecker and is best-priced 21.0 on BETDAQ. But clearly today is the key to her future career, both on the racecourse and in the paddocks.
James Fanshawe tells the Racing Post: ‘We’ll see how she runs and how she is on Monday morning before we decide whether she’ll run in the Wokingham.’ A good show today and a decision to race at Royal Ascot would mean that 21.0 would give me trading room.
DAQMAN’S BETS (stakes to win 20 points)
BET 4.3pts win SILASOL and 0.5pts win and place CHICQUITA (2.45 Chantilly)
BET 14pts win (nap) PROFESSOR and 3.8pts win (stakes saver) HALLELUJAH (4.00 Salisbury)
BET 12pts win BASSARA (5.15 Doncaster)
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