MURPHY NAPPED AT NEWBURY: Daqman has a couple of outsiders to upset the front of the market at Haydock today (11.5 and 19.0) but waits until tonight at Newbury for an Oisin Murphy nap.

ECLIPSE UPDATE: Look out tomorrow for the opening day of the Sandown Eclipse meetings, which Daqman previews below.


IT’S sundown already for Saturday’s Eclipse. Aidan O’Brien seems certain to take the race and the bulk of the £600,000 prizemoney.

With White Birch an absentee, he has the top three rated: City of Troy 124, Luxembourg 120, Continuous 119. The rest are between 5lb and 10lb behind.

Of the English raiders, only Clive Cox’s Ghostwriter has a place near the front of the market, and he is 12lb inferior to the now-long-odds-on City of Troy.

Purists and punters alike will turn to the Lancashire Oaks (Group 2) at Haydock, which three years ago threw up a subsequent Arc winner in Alpinista.

But Haydock also has the prospect of a big field for a handicap, the Old Newton Cup, which hasn’t been won by the market leader since Red Merlin was joint favourite in 2009.

Leading trainer in the race, David O’Meara, had two well-backed winners (8-1 and 10-1) in 2016 and 2011, both ridden by Daniel Tudhope.

The trainer-jockey partnership could be represented on Saturday by Epic Poet, runner-up in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot.


⭕ 3.40 Haydock (6f handicap) The three-day Haydock meeting opens today with a sprint which usually goes to the favourite, or nearly so, and the prize always stays in Yorkshire.

But there’s quite a raiding party today from Newmarket and Berkshire, with Jack Channon (Tiriac), James Owen (Albert Cee) and Andrew Balding (King’s Vanity) all fielding strong contenders.

Will they rue it, as did Charles Hills, whose challenger finished last of 10 in both 2022 and 2023? Ouch!

Julie Camacho, whose well-backed Significantly won it last year, visors Raatea first time this afternoon.

That’s instead of hood and cheekpieces which helped him win on his last visit to Haydock. He’s down in the weights below his mark of that day but that Haydock strike was on firm ground, as was his only other turf success on the July Course.

The Balding runner, King’s Vanity, is interesting dropped down in grade from three attempts at a higher level, including the Victoria Cup at Ascot in the Spring. Favourite at Windsor on the strength of that, but was slowly away. Big at 19.0 on Betdaq Betting Exchange .

Trilby has won only in class 5 but that was here at Haydock over the CD on soft in April. Had to wait for room in a big field at York the last day and is given a bit of help in the handicap to catch Tiriac who finished in front of him. Hats off if he can do it at BETDAQ 11.5!

Grant Wood is also a CD winner here but on firm ground, while Albert Cee has improved for a change of stable and won well under Sean Bowen.


⭕ 3.30 Yarmouth Simon and Ed Crisford have been a long time finding their form this season but are now in category ‘hot’!

That’s from three winners with their last six starters, two of them maiden two-year-olds.

Eighth Avenue (BETDAQ 4.4) fits that category and could have too much experience for the Frankel filly Glistening, whose dam failed to score as a juvenile. For a Frankel, she was easy odds against this morning.

⭕ 4.45 Haydock Course-specialist Clive Cox is 2-3 in races like this at Haydock and Smouldering looks well ready to switch to the turf after one-two form over this trip and with Rossa Ryan booked.

Her sire, Profitable, liked cut in the ground and Smouldering is half-sister to six winners. BETDAQ 5.6 taken.


⭕ 8.25 Newbury (1m 2f handicap) The maidens I Love Paris, Outgun, Ravenswell and Kingkeer are at the front of the market, which suggests we look for something that knows how to win.

Fast Steps catches the eye. Oisin Murphy has had a win and a third on this six-year-old, now back to his winning mark, three times successful at a higher level. A touch of class in horse and jockey: 4.7 taken on BETDAQ.


3.30 Yarmouth (win 10)

3.40 Haydock (win 20)
BET 2pts win TRILBY

4.45 Haydock (win 10)

8.25 Newbury (win 20, nap)
BET 5.5pts win FAST STEPS

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