DAQMAN LANDS THAT DOUBLE BANKER: Daqman has scored with three winners a day during the big Punchestown meeting, including a double banker, one there yesterday and one at the Epsom Spring meeting. His two-day haul is:
WON 5-2 Fox Norton (nap)
WON 13-8 Disko
WON 6-4 Enniskillen
WON 11-10 Galapiat
WON 9-10 Sizing John (Jumps banker)
WON 4-6 Cracksman (Flat banker and day’s nap)
CLASH OF THE VALUE YANKEES: There is another banker double today. Meanwhile, Daqman is 8-4 up on Pricewise as the value challenge enters Day 3 at Punchestown with bets in the 4.15, 5.30, 6.05 and 6.40 races.
BULLISH ABOUT A BETDAQ BONUS
3.40 Punchestown We need something to give us possible edges before we can start to wrestle with this field. Stats of previous winners and trainers in form might help.
There’s a two-stone parameter in this huge handicap but the 25-strong field is reduced dramatically, if we short-list only those the same age as the three previous winners: five (two of them) and six.
Gordon Elliott (Bull Ride 22.0 on BETDAQ), Neil Mulholland (Pinkie Brown 29.0), Edward O’Grady (Le Vagabond 7.4), Tom George (Stamp Your Feet 9.4), Noel Meade (Weightfordave 36.0) and Tony Martin (Sweet Company 6.8 favourite) are trainers in form.
Le Vagabond and Sweet Company are fit from the Flat. A first-time tongue-tie helped Stamp Your Feet score at Haydock.
Bull Ride was out of form at the turn of the year but has had a break, and won twice fairly quickly after a holiday last year, so 22.0 is too big.
I price him up at 11.0, which would require five points to win 50. I will keep that stake to lever a bonus and sky my potential profit to 110 points.
4.15 Punchestown Seven consecutive winners (2009-15) had light seasons and swerved both Cheltenham and Aintree (or were not good enough!)
Bold Henry, Mr Fiftyone, Colla Pier, Sizing Platinum, Neverushacon and Tully East, who won a 20-runner Cheltenham handicap, were all at one of those two big meetings, but I can forgive defeat there for Punchestown specialist Mr Fiftyone, chosen by Robbie Power over Sizing Platinum today.
Potters Point is Bryan Cooper’s preferred of the Gordon Elliott trio, and Hurricane Ben could again beat Don’t Touch it, despite a turn around in the weights from their Fairyhouse one-two.
I’ll side with the jockey bookings, and take 8.2 Potters Point and 10.5 Mr Fiftyone.
4.50 Punchestown (La Touche Cup Cross Country) Enda Bolger has won this 13 times, five since 2006 when have been five winners from the front of the market. Combine the two stats and you get Cantlow, who was second a year ago.
Cantlow was third to Cause Of Causes in the Cheltenham cross-country at the festival last month, and has to give 21lb today to stablemate Love Rory who has won three times at Punvhestown
But this 4m 1f banks trip is the difference. It looks beyond the range of all bar Cantlow, who was paying 6.5 profit for every 10 invested on BETDAQ offers this morning.
FOOTPAD CREEPS UP ON CANYON
5.30 Punchestown (Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle) I can’t see Unowhatimeanharry reversing Cheltenham form with Nichols Canyon, though he was favourite that day.
He ran below his previous form with the consistent bridesmaid Lil Rockefeller and, as at Cheltenham, the sounder surface is not in his favour today.
But Sutton Place and Footpad are big worries if you are taking a short price about Nichols Canyon, because they are youngsters with scope stepping up to 3m for the first time.
Either horse could be transformed by the distance; the one, Footpad, already capable of fourth in the Champion Hurdle; the other, Sutton Place, on a trajectory (five wins in a row) and even being talked about as a Gold Cup horse one day.
Footpad has always raced like a stayer being denied his trip and, as such, is the wrong price at 16.0 on BETDAQ this morning.
In the belief that Gordon Elliott’s Sutton Place needs soft ground, I shall go for a Willie Mullins’ one-two via Nichols Canyon.
6.05 Punchestown Five of the last six winners have carried between 11st 2lb and 11st 8lb., and the quality level is the exact same (tautology rules, ok) as last year’s race.
My short list includes Minella Awards (10.0 offers on BETDAQ), an Oscar six-year-old related to a Grand National winner down the dam’s line.
So the trip could improve him past his Plumpton conquer No Comment, who was unlucky in running when second at the Aintree festival in a race equivalent to this one. I took 9.6 that one, too.
THE BALL IS IN ELLIOTT’S COURT
6.40 Punchestown (Ryanair Novice Chase) Favourites have won four out of six and Willie Mullins three of the last four – the latest with the mighty Douvan.
A triple challenge from Mullins this year spear-headed by Great Field who has won all three of his starts this season over fences by an aggregate of nearly 50 lengths. He was stepped up to Listed company last time out and allowed his own way in front to make all the running by an eased down 32 lengths !!
He remains tremendously exciting but I think it might be dangerous to get carried away with that last win. It was a weak contest by Listed standards and second favourite Stone Hard ran very poorly. This is a much tougher contest and Great Field and won’t be handed things on a plate here as he was at Thurles.
He is also prone to the occasional error so his jumping may be much more of a factor here. He looks too short and I prefer to play win and place on Elliott’s Ball D’arc who is already proven at Grade 1 level and ran a fine third to Road To Respect in the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse over Easter.
7.15 Punchestown (Mares Novice Hurdle) Interesting to see Jim Bolger’s flat winner Ringside Humour making her debut at quite a high level. Bolger doesn’t have many jumps runners and Ringside Humour was a mile and a half winner at Dundalk before a mid-division run at Cork last time out.
Pravalaguna was still in contention before falling at Naas last time out in a decent looking race won by Forge Meadow and she might be worth another chance here. She travelled well throughout that race and runs here instead of a more competitive novice hurdle at the track tomorrow.
She was beaten 32 lengths by Forge Meadow on just her second start so has made up ground on that one and could easily be still improving.
We’ll get a decent price too with Walsh opting to ride Asthuria – a Cheltenham fifth – but her jumping can let her down.
HENDERSON SHIFTING NORTH
IN ENGLAND, Kodiac Khan (2.45 Beverley) appears to be a jockey tip. Mark Johnston has won this twice in the last four years, and Aardwolf is interesting, first run after being gelded.
But Joe Fanning switches to Kodiac Khan, an AW winner for Johnston after moving from Hugo Palmer, for whom he scored at Epsom.
The fields at Perth have held up well on the forecast good ground. Nicky Henderson may cover the diesel and plenty more with Full Shift (Perth 4.10) in the £25,000 handicap chase.
He’s been mixing it at quite a high level in his career and should find this easier. He will come into this a fresh horse having not been seen since finishing a close-up second to Sir Note at Kempton and races off just a 1lb higher mark.
Historic Event (5.55 Chelmsford) went into plenty of notebooks after her debut neck second to Qatari Riyals at Wolverhampton. The pair pulled clear and she looked a sure fire future winner.
She gets her chance here with seemingly just the Andrew Balding debutant Fair Cop to account for.
DAQMAN’S BETS (each staked to win 20 points unless otherwise stated)
BET 4pts win KODIAC KHAN
BONUS-VALUE BET 5pts win (at 22.0) and place BULL RIDE
BET 5pts win FULL SHIFT
BET 2.75pts win POTTERS POINT and 2pts win MR FIFTYONE
BANKER (Jumps): BET 20pts win (nap) CANTLOW
BULL’S-EYE BET (win 50): 3.3pts win and place FOOTPAD, and 2.5pts win (stakes saver) NICHOLS CANYON
BANKER (Flat): BET 20pts win HISTORIC EVENT
BET 2.3pts win NO COMMENT and 2pts win MINELLA AWARDS
BET 3.2pts win and place BALL D’ARC
BET 3.3pts win PRAVALAGUNA
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