NOW IT’S FOUR NAPS IN A ROW: Daqman’s nap is unbeaten since Sunday. That’s four in a row, as he continues to buy money to pay for his big-race bull’s-eye bets at Cheltenham tomorrow and Saturday (204 points profit on the Flat):

WON 8-13 Zaidpour (banker)
WON 2-1 Shutthefrontdoor
WON 1-5 El Namoose (banker)
WON 3-10 Tara Point (banker)

16 WINNING BANKERS OUT OF 21: The three bankers in a row in this four-day naps sequence brings the tally of winning maximum-stakes bets to 16 from the last 21 selections (76% strike-rate). Daqman also tipped Howard’s Legacy (WON 13-2) yesterday.

MAXIMUM STAKES AT CLONMEL: There are two more bankers today, with Daqman taking sides in the clash of the season so far, Sizing Europe versus Champagne Fever at Clonmel.


1.55 Clonmel This race is on my list as one to target the bottom weights. There have been no winners above 11st since the decade began.

Memories Of Milan keeps the John Queally yard going – he’s had only one other winner this season – but Davy Russell seemed to find that an 11lb rise from the first leg stopped his hat-trick bid on the last day.

Love On Top is a course winner but the one I like is Noel Meade’s Tulsa Jack, with Paul Carberry steering. Meade, who had a winner yesterday, produced Road To Riches to capture a Champion Chase on the first of the month.

Tulsa Jack has been struggling over fences and looked much happier returned to the ‘sticks’ on this course a fortnight back, when Memories Of Milan was behind him. I think he’s huge at 8.2 on BETDAQ as I write, early mouse.

2.25 Clonmel Oil Chase The winners of 37 graded races clash here: they have won in Grade 1 (15 times) Grade 2 (12 times) and Grade 3 (10 times)!

The weather forecast is simply put this morning in the Racing Post: ‘Rain. Chance of rain 100%’. So I’m expecting it will be well soft.

The Arkle runner-up Champagne Fever, kept mainly to around 2m, must win this in receipt of 11lb from Sizing Europe, if he is to live up to the hype as a Gold Cup contender this season.

His only success over 2m 4f came on yielding ground and he beat ‘nothing’ that day at Punchestown, and Sizing Europe is a formidable opponent, in the first three 27 times out of 29.

They called for Sizing Europe to be retired after winning the Champion Chase at Punchestown last April, his eighth Grade 1 but, as a 12-year-old, 13 in few weeks´ time, he came back with a master class to win the Champion Chase at Gowran in October, beating the Galway Plate winner and subsequent Down Royal Champion Chase hero, Road To Riches.

He was doing the double at Gowran and now bids for back-to-back wins in this Clonmel Oil Chase, with likely improvement in him on only his second run of the season.

But giving away 11 lengths to a five-years-younger potential Willie Mullins’ star will be a tall order, with the Mullins camp in incredible form, with current figures of 1221220101121312.

Clonmel is hilly country and so should hold no terrors for a Cheltenham lover, like Champagne Fever. So here goes with a banker. Sometimes it’s champagne or the black stuff without a head, tail between the legs. We have to go for it, with the price made up by Sizing Europe.

2.55 Clonmel Une Artiste for the Henderson-Geraghty team takes on only one other Graded winner, Byerley Babe, who beat her a nose at levels at the start of the year but pulled up behind her at Fairyhouse.

Baby Shine is a bigger threat, as she would have finished well ahead of Byerley Babe at Limerick in March but for falling when in the lead at the last. That’s the risk with her.

This is another season and you’d want to be on the youngster, Une Artiste, who won first time back in the 2012 season and would surely have taken in a home venue if he wasn’t ready for this. Baby Shine is the stakes saver.


TAUNTON There’s a fascinating novices’ hurdle (2.40), with Area Fifty Two needing to nip in and try to grab one before the softer ground. He needs the going on top.

Navanman ran into the John Ferguson hot horse, El Namoose, at Wincanton, but was 28 lengths clear of the third. He looks the value for small stakes at 12.0 in the BETDAQ orange.

They’ve come big time for Zulu Oscar but, at not much better than evens, I’m a bit scared off by the tongue-tie in a race which could throw up a fair sort, though maybe it’s Zulu Oscar!

Also hoping the rain stays away is Philip Hobbs for Powerful Action (3.10), better than the bare form as a slow learner last season now come good.

But there’s a snag with loading on. The snag is called Casino Markets, a tearaway, who drops back in trip and could turn the normal shape of the race into a procession. Saver.

LUDLOW Stars Over The Sea (1.00) has got an engine and, again, hoping there’s not too much rain to slow him down, looks another banker.

It’s 8.0 bar one and that brings in All Yours, rated by Paul Nichoills as very much in need of experience.

It’s hard to look ahead to this meeting over the cornflakes because of the likely change in the ground. For instance, Sin Bin (2.00) and Southfield Vic (2.30) are both good-ground horses.

You can’t take an early-mouse about Southfield Vic, because he’s so short but, if you leave him, and there isn’t much rain, he becomes a ‘knocking bet’ you left out.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 points, except the bankers)
BANKER: BET 20pts win (nap) STARS OVER THE SEA (1.00 Ludlow)
BET 2.7pts win TULSA JACK (1.55 Clonmel)
BANKER: BET 20pts win CHAMPAGNE FEVER (2.25 Clonmel)
BET 1.8pts win and place NAVANMAN and 2.6pts win (stakes saver) ZULU OSCAR (2.40 Taunton)
BET 10pts win UNE ARTISTE and 2.3pts win (stakes saver) BABY SHINE (2.55 Clonmel)
BET 5.5pts win on each POWERFUL ACTION and CASINO MARKETS (3.10 Taunton)

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