8-1 WINNER IS ANOTHER ‘DREAM’ BET: Daqman, who won with Dream Wild on Monday, landed four-lengths scorer Dreams Of Glory (WON 8-1) at Bath yesterday to stay ahead of the game.
GOLD VALUE SEARCH STARTS HERE: Today he goes race by race through Ascot and into the BETDAQ-sponsored meeting at Kempton, as he tries to follow his own new rules of betting, published in his column in the last two days. He’s looking for gold, tracking down value races where he can oppose the favourite.
John Gosden is the trainer to follow at Ascot today. He hasn’t had a single horse out of the first six in 15 races in the last nine days, 10 of them in the frame, five as winners.
With one exception – a tilt at a Sandown Group 3 – the 15 runners have been ordinary horses, handicappers and maidens.
But today’s four-strong Ascot squad targets three contests in the pattern, a Group-3 and a Listed, and one conditions race.
Chat, Fencing, Caucus and Snow King are all making their seasonal reappearance, all with good chances at good offers. Chat’s is a weakish race of largely exposed animals.
Fencing, the 2012 Guineas sixth to Camelot, could be a cracker in those top-class races that allow geldings. Both Chat and Fencing are in punter-friendly sub-110% lists of offers in the BETDAQ orange.
2.00 Ascot A race of last-day winners. Richard Hannon is 121 in it since 2010 but it’s Justice Day and Master Carpenter who’ve had their form franked by recent success for the runners-up in their respective winning maidens.
Justice Day has plenty in hand of Montaigne on a line through Meritocracy (runs 2.20 Pontefract) and seems to be the one Hannon’s Anticipated has to beat.
However, all five runners face a going change in that the turf winners scored with cut in the ground – Ascot is drying out this morning – and two others have raced only on AW.
2.30 Ascot John Gosden, who trained the winner of this a year ago, is 13112 with the five runners from his yard with SPs of 11-4 or less in the last nine days, while David Brown is currently 1331113 from starters at 5-1 or shorter.
Chat (the dam was called Verbal) is not the stable cat. That’s all we really know at this stage, though she started out well enough, with a convincing win at Haydock on good-to-soft ground last June (‘always in control).’
Masarah looks exposed but note that she has raced the last twice against Guineas contenders Van Der Neer (2,000) and Just The Judge (1,000). Pearl Sea was fifth in the Lowther Stakes.
3.00 Ascot Official ratings for this race span only 6lb if you delete Monsieur Chevalier. All bar the Monsieur have been placed in the pattern, with Chandlery and Pastoral Player already Group scorers.
Chandlery has had one run back – unconvincing – after breaking his pelvis. He is out at 14.0 on BETDAQ this morning and, although Don’t Call Me finished in front of Sovereign Debt and Chandlery at Doncaster, he is also ‘not wanted’ at 13.0, as I write.
Don’t Call Me is already an Ascot winner, as are Boom And Bust, Pastoral Player and Sovereign Debt, who has raced in Group-1 company on the course against Excelebration (the horse that finished second to Frankel five times).
In fact, this is Sovereign Debt’s big chance before the ground dries out too much for him: firm ground and it would be Boom And Bust’s day. Pastoral Player also needs a sound surface.
Sovereign Debt was unlucky in the Jersey Stakes at the royal meeting but, on all known form, is not up to the level of Stipulate and Fencing, both having reached the frame at Group-2 level; both having already won a Listed.
Sovereign Debt was out of the back door when Stipulate was fourth at Newmarket in a September Group 2.
Fencing, sixth in the 2,000 Guineas behind Camelot, was third in the Dante, York’s prestigious Derby trial, and fourth in a Group 2 at the Cambridgeshire meeting at the backend.
That form would be good enough for this Listed mile in most years -and on the form we know – and Fencing could well rise above that level today, his first race after being gelded: 5.1 on BETDAQ as I write.
3.35 Ascot (Sagaro Stakes) A third Gosden contender, Caucus, steps up to Group class here but is already a winner of a Listed over 2m in the pattern when he beat Cavalryman, successful at both Group 1 and Group 2 levels in his time.
A line through the fourth horse, Martyr, that day – in September’s Jockey Club Rose Bowl at Newmarket – gives him a heap to find with Sir Graham Wade, who improved 24lb from August, but today is Sir Graham’s first attempt at 2m.
Will he get the trip? Trainer’s wife, Deirdre Johnston, told the Racing Post in September: ‘He’s a dream horse for next year, a stayer in the making.’ Well, you did ask.
His main obstacle today must be Queen’s Vase winner, Estimate, who goes well fresh and is suited by today’s conditions.
Ebor third Steps To Freedom is an interesting Irish raider but has failed before now to break into top class on the Flat. He’s seven and the 2011 winner of this, Askar Tau, is eight.
Older horses do well enough, but Sir Michael Stoute, who has won it with Cover Up and Patkai, knows this race well and Estimate is backable, thanks to a BETDAQ orange of only 108% at the time of writing.
3.55 Pontefract (Ladbrokes’ Mobile Fillies handicap) Fascinating. There are certainly some mobile fillies in this one!
One in four of handicap debutants for Luca Cumani (Abilene) and Sir Michael Stoute (Centred) are winners, and jockey George Chaloner (Eastern Destiny) is currently striking at 44% (4-9).
4.10 Ascot BETDAQ punters didn’t read the Brian Meehan stable tour; nor have they spotted that Paul Hanagan is at Ascot for the one ride before Kempton.
Intibaah is out to 47.0 this morning, though Meehan says he can see the beast running a big race today. At the offers, and in a tough Listed, just a fun bet. But he has been gelded (Intibaah that is).
5.50 Kempton (£200 Free Bets At Betdaq Classified Stakes) For claimers and classified races, the ratings are your key. Except in this one. All bar two of the runners are officially 69 or 70.
Kieran Fallon takes off his Rockalong strip at Ascot (4.45) and, hopefully, gets to Kempton in time through the rush-hour traffic to grab the colours of the Crone Stud for Love Marmalade in this Kempton opener.
First-run-after-gelding Codebreaker was the medium of a last-start gamble and could be a different ‘horse’ this term. He surely will.
6.25 Kempton (New Customers Commission Free 1st Month Betdaq Maiden Fillies’ Stakes) Twist And Shout’s having already been seen, third at Newmarket, makes her favourite but it’s always doubtful that will be good enough to beat the Hannon yard, though which one of Suite and Touch Paper? Suite was Richard Hughes pick.
8.05 Kempton (Betdaq 1st UK Race Commission Free Handicap) Some of these are so old I can remember them racing against Nijinsky. Not quite that, but horses aged 7, 8, 9, 10 – even 11 – in this will surely be short of the zest in Ginger Fizz and the bounce in CD winner Albonny.
Three of the old boys haven’t won a race since at least 2009 and, though Where’s Susie has the saving grace that she’s won at a higher level, she’s been a bridesmaid – six times placed without winning – since her last successful season in 2011.
8.35 Kempton (Winners Are Welcome At Betdaq Handicap) And you are welcome to try and find one here – it’s a tricky three-year-old handicap – though it might be worth noting that Jamie Spencer (four rides at Ascot) comes on here solely for Dark Templar.
VALUE BET: 8.6pts win CHAT (2.30 Ascot)
GOLD VALUE: BET 5pts win (nap) FENCING (3.00 Ascot)
VALUE BET: 7.2pts win ESTIMATE and 3.8pts win SIR GRAHAM WADE (3.35 Ascot)
BET: 0.4pts win and place INTIBAAH (4.10 Ascot)
VALUE BET: 8.6pts win ALBONNY (8.05 Kempton)
DAQMAN’S TARGETS: Value Races are where the total probability on BETDAQ adds up to less than 110% at the time Daqman made his selections. Gold Value has the same criterion but, additionally, Daqman takes out the favourite, targeting the underround in the rest of the field.
Value races at the time of writing were 1.40 Southwell (also commission free), 2.40 and 4.20 Southwell; 2.50, 3.55, 4.30 Pontefract; 2.00, 2.30 and 3.35 Ascot; 8.05 Kempton.
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