NOW IT’S FOUR WINNING NAPS IN A ROW: Easy Beverley winner Defendant (WON 4-7) was Daqman’s fourth consecutive winning nap after Sir John Hawkins (WON 2-1), Madam Quilla (WON 15-8) and Presto Volante (WON 6-4). It was another sensational tipping day.
AND NOW IT’S 268 POINTS PROFIT IN TWO DAYS: He had four winners for the second day in succession, adding 103 points profit to the 165 haul in Tuesday’s smash and grab.
THREE DOUBLES AND A TREBLE (Tuesday): Daqman’s Tuesday winners included Ingleby Angel (WON 6-1) and Neston Grace (WON 7-2), and he landed three doubles and a treble.
THREE DOUBLES AND A TREBLE (Wednesday): He did the same again yesterday with Princess Noor (WON 7-2), Aficionado (WON 3-1) and Expert Fighter (WON 5-2) among his successes.
DERBY DOUBTS ABOUT THE FAVOURITE:
Here are Daqman’s ABC stats and analysis check on the Derby field for Saturday:
A Rated 115 to 121 (all bar one in the last decade)
B First or second 2,000 Guineas or winner of the Dante (7 out of 10)
C Had only three or four previous runs (7 out of 10)
D Sired By Montjeu (four out of last eight; goes for hat-trick here)
E Sire’s stallion-stamina index 8.9 to 11.7 (9 out of 10)
F Unraced until August previous season (6 out of 10)
ABE DAWN APPROACH The 2,000 Guineas winner, son of New Approach who did the Guineas-Derby double, is 10lb clear in the ratings, unbeaten in seven starts, an imposing individual likely to start a short-priced favourite after running away with the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas.
But there are huge negatives: only one Derby winner in the decade has had seven races on his CV at this stage, and Dawn Approach started his career in March last year, almost unheard of for any Classic animal in the modern era.
He won a poor guide to second-season form in the Coventry Stakes, and I can’t find any early-day juvenile sprinters who won the Derby, though much is about the nature of the horse (Red Rum won a 5f seller!)
The usual start date for the Epsom hero is late summer, May at the earliest; even that would be an oddity: July 13 to September 22 debuts cover nine of the last 10 winners.
On breeding, if he reproduced his stallion side, Dawn Approach would just about win at Epsom and, in fact, he is more laid back than sire New Approach in a year when the wet winter has meant horses are developing later.
On the dam’s side, he is related to sprinters, though with some staying connection; but this second ‘sprinter’ label is not a question mark according to those anoraks who compile breeding data but an indelible black mark which completely rules him out of the Epsom winner’s enclosure.
Officially, his last three wins have been over colts rated only 95, 91, 91, albeit beating them easily. All in all, his CV is that of a precocious two-year-old who has trained on well through quality and class, and his breeding potential that of an Eclipse winner at best.
But Dawn Approach has that indefinable something which we variously call being ‘professional’ and ‘the will to win’; in other words, he saves all his energy for what really matters: the race itself.
AEF BATTLE OF MARENGO (pictured) Another well exposed for a Derby winner, with six runs to date, unbeaten since his debut. But the runners-up in his last three successes were rated 101, 108, 114, and he has improved every time.
He has yet to travel out of Ireland, where he’s twice encountered very soft ground that doesn’t really suit him. Related to winners up to 1m 1f though, of course, his sire, Galileo, won the Derby.
AEF MAGICIAN (doubtful runner) Sadly the Epsom Derby has come too close to his scintillating Irish Guineas success. He goes for the St James’s Palace Stakes (June 18) at Royal Ascot but I think he’ll go down eventually as one of the best horses not to win a Derby since Dancing Brave.
Ascot is another wrong decision – the Irish Derby is on June 29 – and I notice that Aidan O’Brien has been at pains to point out that the planning has been left to ‘the boys’ (the owners).
His defection from Epsom means that, apart from Battle Of Marengo and Libertarian, not much else, statistically, has the requirements for a Derby winner.
BCEF LIBERTARIAN Very late developer: not even seen as a two-year-old, rated only 82 in April and value for his current 112, after beating a 106 rated to win the Dante, still looking green until striding clear in the final furlong.
He would be the North’s first winner since Dante himself in 1945 but he’s another New Approach and his dam’s side oozes stamina, too much so if anything, suggesting The Curragh Derby or the St Leger will be better options for this improving galloper than the tight bends and gradients of Epsom.
I took 21.0 in this column after the Dante and, with the favourite a doubtful stayer, and Magician now out, I shall want a decent whack on Libertarian for a BETDAQ place on Saturday.
CDE FESTIVE CHEER A Montjeu (the sire is going for a Derby hat-trick) from the family of 1,000 Guineas winner, Speciosa, but which got a 12f winner at Grade 3 in the US.
A colt that travels really well and I thought he’d go for the Chantilly Derby after his third in a blanket finish to the Prix Hocquart.
The second then, a short-head in front of Festive Cheer, had run up to Ocovango, beaten a length and a half, in March.
CEF CHOPIN Out of a Galileo mare, slammed the subsequent runner-up in the German Guineas (Global Bang) by eight lengths in April.
But the third in that Guineas, Tawhid, had been last of four, 14 lengths adrift of Toronado, in the Craven Stakes.
CEF GALILEO ROCK His name relates to his sire and his half-brother Saddler’s Rock, a Goodwood Cup winner so no stamina doubts and mentioned as a St Leger horse.
Eight lengths in front of a very green Libertarian when third in the Sandown Classic Trial but was again behind Eye Of The Storm, the pair having finished well adrift of Trading Leather at Newmarket last October.
CF OCOVANGO Andre Fabre has launched many a top jockey on to the European racing scene, including Mickael Barzalona, whip-waving winner, standing in the stirrups before the winning post on Pour Moi two years ago.
Ocovango has won the same trial as Pour Moi, the Prix Greffulhe at Saint-cloud, under new Fabre boy star, Pierre-Charles Boudot.
There the resemblance ends, since Ocovango won from the front and it is debatable whether he will settle and ‘do a Pour Moi’ at Epsom. But Ocovango is by the sire of 12f stars Manduro, Shirocco and Stacelita, and Fabre also has Intello for the French Derby.
Since that one finished in front of our Guineas runner-up in the French version, it is clear that Fabre has a strong Classic hand.
EF TRADING LEATHER (doubtful runner) Beat 2,000 Guineas runner-up, Glory Awaits, and Galileo Rock (1m Group 3) at Newmarket in October in a race which threw up the 2012 Derby third, Astrology.
But turned over in the Dante by a late surge from Libertarian and five lengths behind Magician in the Curragh Guineas. May not run on Saturday if all is well with Dawn Approach.
E FIRST CORNERSTONE Futurity winner at The Curragh in August (heavy) and, though in need of the run after a lay-off since then, finished in front of Trading Leather, fourth in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October.
Fifth to Magician (behind Trading Leather) in the Curragh Guineas on firm ground and his staying on late and his penchant for plenty of cut suggested the Irish Derby would better suit him. Stamina to burn in his pedigree.
E FLYING THE FLAG Another Ballydoyle colt. Another Galileo. Ninth in the French Guineas, sixth in the Irish Guineas, having been last of seven to Dawn Approach in the National Stakes as a juvenile. I can see him dropping back to sprints (dam half-sister to a Kings Stand winner).
E MARS (Ballydoyle/Galileo). Not much work, lots of rest though at one time a Derby play. But down the pecking order on riding plans after a never-travelling sixth to Dawn Approach in the Newmarket Guineas. Not certain to get the trip and still needs time.
E MIRSAALE Winner of the Epsom Derby trial but beat only an 83 rated who has failed in a Listed since. Half-brother to an Oaks runner-up.
E RULER OF THE WORLD (Ballydoyle/Galileo). All the rage to prove his name after winning the Chester Vase but Ballydoyle would subsequently have more trial winners and he would gradually slide below Magician and Battle Of Marengo in the pecking order. Rugged, galloping sort but lacks a turn of foot..
– OCEAN APPLAUSE Not much applause in 16 runs – no wins – and 36 lengths last to Mirsaale in the Epsom Derby trial. All at sea on form.
GOLD VALUE BETS: 6pts win HIGH JINX and 2pts win MODEL PUPIL (7.15 Sandown)
BET 5.8pts win SPA’S DANCER and 2pts win FORGIVE (8.50 Sandown)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 10pts win ALCAEUS (nap, 5.10 Hamilton), plus 4 x 1pt win trebles Alcaeus (5.10 Hamilton) with High Jinx and Model Pupil (7.15 Sandown) and with Spa’s Dancer and Forgive (8.50 Sandown)
DAQMAN’S TARGETS: Above-average racing at Sandown but bets remain staked to win 20 points – except Daq Multiples – because of the threat of rain. The 7.15 Sandown is a Gold Value race because I’m opposing the favourite in an orange list on BETDAQ adding up to only 105%. Last year’s race had a Total SP of 120%.
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