12-1 ‘UNKNOWN’ WINS CHESTER CUP FOR DAQMAN: Daqman recommended Address Unknown the day before the race but BETDAQ offers remained so high for the Chester Cup – 18.5 yesterday morning – that he also bet against it. ‘Sometimes the Betdaq prices are hard to believe,’ says our man.

TODAY’S NAP IS 6.0 FOR MORE GOLD VALUE: Why such good prices? For one thing, the Chester Cup morning list of offers on BETDAQ added up to 103%, whereas the Total SP recorded in the Racing Post was 125%. Today sees value at 13.5 and 12.0 at Chester nominated by Daqman but he also found a Gold Value race at Goodwood for the nap at 6.0 this morning.

What else did Aidan O’Brien get for Christmas? The cheekpieces he put on his Guineas colt are now trying to cobble together the doubtful abilities of Ruler Of The World.

Super-quality races are simply not won by horses wearing aids. You can count on one hand the number of Derby and Grand National winners wearing blinkers or visors. That’s in total!

We’ve already seen and heard Aidan O’Brien making excuses for putting cheekpieces on Cristoforo Colombo. That colt was only fifth in what looked distinctly like a one-horse 2,000 Guineas.

Ruler Of The World will have to win the Chester Vase a street today if he is to carry any of my money at Epsom and reaching for the cheekpieces suggests he won’t.

1.45 Chester Ironically, Address Unknown won the Chester Cup for Marwan Koukash without his aids yesterday. Richard Fahey tells the Sporting Life: ‘We haven’t had him long and I hadn’t realised he normally wears blinkers and a tongue-tie so didn’t put them on!’

Fahey has a Koukash runner in the very first race today with Area Fifty One, another example of a horse coming good for Fahey after changing stables, so good in fact that he won the City And Suburban at Epsom recently.

But, with the results by stall at Chester yesterday all to the low numbers – 8, 7, 2, 3, 7, 3, 6 from 5f to 2m 2f plus – Area Fifty One is in 8 of 11 and he’s a horse who likes to be up with the pace.

So expect to see Jamie Spencer trying to do a Richard Kingscote (brilliant on Quatuor from 8, wasn’t he!) and getting across early, as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Koukash complicates matters by having a Marco Botti front-runner in the race, Halfsin (drawn 5), and I expect Assizes to hit gate one. I would worry that hold-up horses Eshtibaak and, particularly, the now gelded Sir John Hawkwood, who is a rear runner saddled with stall 11, will get out of their ground; while Voodoo Prince, a winner over 1m 4f, might also get going too late.

Beaumonts Party is paying for success with a 16lb rise so, all in all, I reckon the grey Assizes from the one stall is a huge price at offers of 12.0 this morning.

He’s been dropped 6lb since beaten about two lengths by Sir John Hawkwood on firmish ground at Newmarket in August after a head second at Goodwood when the Racing Post form described him as a ‘typically tough Mark Johnston type.’ Has been gelded for this season.

2.15 Chester Gabrial, placed in a Group 1 last season, is another gelded over the winter and he quickly showed the benefit by winning the Listed Doncaster Mile.

Another Koukash, he is in 7 of 7 today and, again, the early maneouvring is all down to Jamie Spencer.

If Bonfire was going to win he would have done it when fresh and he maybe didn’t like the firmish ground at Newmarket. Though I shouldn’t be sniffing at his Group-3 third, he’s come up short every time since winning the Dante. Yet another to have been gelded.

Stablemate Highland Knight has won at 1m 1f and likes turning tracks; he drops down a grade from his Group-2 second at Sandown.

Danadana improved 24lb from this time last year and won first time up in a previous season. Has to step up from handicap company but will love the ground. An entire in a race of five geldings!

Dick Doughtywylie (stall 2) likes to be in the van and made the transition well when stepped up into the pattern at Sandown in April, an eye-opening first run.

The track should suit and he was the value at 13.5 on BETDAQ this morning, with the John Gosden team only just finding some form, and ‘ifs and buts’ about everything in the race.

2.30 Goodwood I’m expecting the three-year-olds to win at these weights. Pearl Castle and Enzaal both like to dictate and I reckon then can take a clear lead intoi the straight and be hard to catch up the hill on these terms.

The improver Enzaal is highly regarded and 6.8 on BETDAQ is huge this morning, with Mark Johnston bullish on a track he loves to win at.

2.45 Chester Vase This time Jamie Spencer can trap from 3 on front-runner Gabrial’s Kaka but they’re all modestly related with the exception of Ruler Of The World.

Two thing are off-putting: ‘Ruler’ has cheekpieces and he’s easy to back for an O’Brien Classic horse at around evens this morning, big Ballydoyle odds in a small field.

I shall stick by my hunch of a Gosden surge and take a bit of Feel Like Dancing at 6.4 this morning. I’m sure Gosden would love to beat Ballydoyle with his Galileo over theirs!

O’Brien says Ruler Of The World is a lazy horse. ‘Lazy’ is not an epithet for Chester winners, who have to be flat to the boards most of the way round.

3.15 Chester Stall 1 might not suit the hold-up horse Here Comes When but Sorella Bella (in 2) should get her usual flyer. She was taken off her feet first time back in the Nell Gwyn but is normally a front-runner.

Both her wins have come on the soft but she enjoyed firmish ground when narrowly beaten on the Newmarket July Course by Group-placed Music Chart.

Flashlight (from 4) will probably go off with her but has not so far been up to this level. Although Fat Gary won at this meetinga year ago (soft), he, too, is stepping up in the grades here. Maybe first-time visirs will help.

Baddilini, who missed the Lily Agnes for this, is a local horse who’s already won a class 2 on the firm but that was 6f and he beat ‘nothing.’

The forecast rain needs to be fairly strong if Breton Rock is to win; he’s scored only with cut in the ground and is from a family which prefers it.

Roger Varian thinks a lot of Ribaat, better off 7lb with Here Comes When on Newbury form and there are three other differences (unless rain has fallen in quantity).

Firstly it was softish ground that day; secondly, Here Comes When was wearing a first-time hood and it might not work so well second time; thirdly, today’s track will suit the freegoing Ribaat.

His main danger may be Dashing David, better than the bare form, and a winner first time last season for a yard which excels – and has quality in depth – at the distance of this race.

4.25 Chester If the rain stays away, or doesn’t change the going, fast-surface performer Your Pal Tal (wrong ground or wrong trip last twice) – a fast breaker – will be hard to beat from the one stall with the flying Kieren Fallon up.

Mayaasem (stall 5), You Da One (first-time hood, from stall 3) are both dangerous but the favourite, Moviesta, will have to be good, so high in the handicap.

BET 2.7pts win and place ASSIZES (1.45 Chester)
GOLD VALUE: BET 2.6pts win and place DICK DOUGHTYWYLIE (2.15 Chester)
GOLD VALUE: BET 5pts win (nap) ENZAAL and 1pt win (stakes saver) PEARL CASTLE (2.30 Goodwood)
GOLD VALUE: BET 5.5pts win FEEL LIKE DANCING (2.45 Chester)
GOLD VALUE: BET 8pts win RIBAAT and 4.2pts win DASHING DAVID (3.15 Chester)
GOLD VALUE: BET 3.75pts win and place YOUR PAL TAL (4.25 Chester)

DAQMAN’S TARGETS: An above-average day, so stakes are raised to win 30 points on each bet, but I was right to worry about the draw yesterday and had a stinker apart from the Chester Cup, so I’m place saving where I can. Again, races with overrounds under 110% are marked for ‘value’ and those in that category where I oppose the favourite as Gold Value (see Daqman Library)

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