BACK-TO-BACK NAPS FOR DAQMAN: Daqman punters pounced on Pont Aven at Ludlow yesterday, the hunter-chaser winning 16 lengths to land our man’s back-to-back naps for nine winners in five days.
WON 6-4 PONT AVEN (Wednesday nap)
WON 5-4 ROXZOFF (Tuesday)
WON 11-10 HOMETOWN HERO (Tuesday nap)
WON 7-2 FOX POWER (Monday)
WON 17-2 THE BIG GALLOPER (Sunday at 14.0) plus 4-9, 1-5 winners
WON 6-1 GREEN BOOK (Saturday)
WON 8-13 L’HOMME PRESSE (Saturday Fortune Cookie)
WHEN IS A TRIAL NOT A TRIAL? Daqman’s Lays Logic spots races which are rarely informative, horses which rarely win or are too short in the market. He previews two weekend races today, and asks ‘when is a trial not a trial’!
WEEKEND TESTS LACK PUNCH
🤔 LAYS LOGIC Undecided Cheltenham punters looking for a pot-shot, and long-range snipers at the Grand Nationals of Aintree and Fairyhouse, are still hoping for insight from the final tests.
But the Punchestown Grand National Trial on Sunday is of no particular help to the real thing at Fairyhouse or Aintree.
In fact, the last winner (Dounikos 2019) to have aspirations of National glory ran in both.. And pulled up in both!
Fulsom Blue (2018) ran well at Fairyhouse, finishing fifth (promoted to fourth) but never again finished in the first three.
The winners of the Punchestown trial in the three years before that (2015 to 2017) won only two small races afterwards; that’s in total from their subsequent CVs put together.
The verdict has to be that Sunday’s race should be treated as an event in its own right. Good luck with that! The last two winners had never previously won a single chase.
But it’s not the only weekend trial that’s not a trial! Saturday sees the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick billed for future stars in keeping with its name.
You certainly have a better chance of finding the winner: only one in the decade was at longer odds SP than 7-2; four of the last eight favourites have won.
As for the future, eight of the last nine winners went to Cheltenham and all were beaten. The Kingmaker has produced winners at Ayr and Aintree but they were hardly kings. Not a one.
DREAMS CUTS TO THE CHASE
⭕ 1.45 Thurles ‘A very good mare; jumps like a stag’. Was Enda Bolger dreaming about the J P McManus home-bred Dreamsrmadeofthis when he said this?
I’m right 90% of the time when I oppose those who have won only their maiden. It’s a very bad sign.
But ‘Dreams’ is switching disciplines today, from hurdles to fences, and her stable is getting 100% from its runners.
There was money for her in a big field on today’s course the last day, which suggests that something has been amiss and she is mentally and physically straight enough now to start fulfilling her potential her trainer saw in her.
BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE 19.5 Dreamsrmadeofthis
HUGHES BOOKED FOR UNIT
⭕ 2.45 Doncaster The Unit has crashed 22lb down the ratings but loves top of the ground and has done well lately on the fast tracks at Kempton and Wincanton. Brian Hughes booked (122 winners this season).
Mulcahys Hill is another one 22lb down the handicap from his revised rating after a win at Cheltenham as a novice but there’s been no money for him since he was second (in a two-horse race!) more than two years ago, yet is set to give weight all round here.
First-time visor may help and the stable is back to some kind of form with a winner at Taunton on Monday.
Zalvados is close to his winning rating again, but he usually needs a couple of runs into his season before able to strike, and he won’t get the rain he needs, if the forecast is correct.
Road Warrior has run 10 races at Sedgefield and three of his four wins have been there. The grey has been seen twice more since scoring on Boxing Day off marks like today’s that he can place from without winning.
Connections are very selective with the old boy Tiquer; he’s won on the course and has Sam Twiston-Davies booked; Joe Ponting usually gets his horses to run to their best.
Wildfire Warrior has a classy pedigree for hurdles but is ‘oop North’ to try his hand over fences.
BETDAQ value 3.2 The Unit
HENDERSON ON A DOUBLE
⭕ 3.50 Doncaster A race for staying hurdlers which has consistently thrown up good young horses (68% of winners have been six-year-olds).
Lord Roco, Moon King and Terresita seem to fit the bill but Nicky Henderson’s Scarpia escapes a penalty for an easy Plumpton win, making all in a conditionals race on good ground last week in a race of this grade.
The well-related Lord Roco broke his maiden recently and is going the right way under the 7lb claimer Alan Doyle.
Moon King likes the ground and was placed six times in a row (twice at Doncaster; twice under Sam Twiston-Davies) until a poor run at Haydock the last day.
BETDAQ value 3.2 Scarpia
SHE IS PROGRESSIVE AGAIN
⭕ 4.20 Doncaster Nicky Henderson keeps Alan Doyle on Scarpia and has two runners at Huntingdon so it may be significant that Nico De Boinville makes the trip to Doncaster for one ride.
His mount, Progressive, pulled up when hiked to Listed level at Ascot in October. She came back to form on the Flat in January: she was third at Lingfield then won at Wolverhampton two days later.
The implication is that whatever was wrong has been put right and, though Progressive has to carry top weight today, this is a drop in grade.
Yet she is back within 3lb of her class-2 success at Chepstow on good ground in October in a fast-run race.
Moonamacaroona, a dual bumper winner, may improve over hurdles after wind surgery, with Brian Hughes again riding for Alan King.
BETDAQ value 4.1 Progressive
1.45 Thurles (win 18)
BET 1pt win DREAMSRMADEOFTHIS
2.45 Doncaster (win 10)
BET 4pts win THE UNIT
3.50 Doncaster (win 10)
BET 4pts win SCARPIA
4.20 Doncaster (win 18, nap)
BET 6pts win PROGRESSIVE
What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….
Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.