SAVE THE ‘TOMMY WHITTLE’ PLEADS DAQMAN: Daqman looks back at the golden days of the great northern stables and the impact of their ‘gold cup’, the Tommy Whittle. An early-morning inspection will take place tomorrow for Friday’s two-day Ascot meeting and for Saturday’s Tommy Whittle card at Haydock. Temperatures rise at the weekend and one or both might be repositioned in the schedule.

TODAY: AW racing saves the day again at Lingfield and Kempton


ONE MAN AND THOSE SUNY DAYS..

⭕ 2.40 Haydock, Saturday (Tommy Whittle Chase) Back in the day, Saturday’s test over almost 3m 2f produced a gold cup for the north at a time when northern stables were much more dominant.

Some of its winners would take major prizes at the Cheltenham festival and by the end of the last century it had also become a test for the Grand National.

Masters of the big northern training centres were Michael Dickinson, Peter Easterby, Jimmy Fitzgerald, Arthur Stephenson and Gordon W Richards. All won the Tommy Whittle.

Little Owl, Forgive N’Forget and The Thinker in the Eighties would win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

But their fame was overshadowed by One Man. The grey wonder was a dual King George winner yet able to win a champion chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

One Man won the Tommy Whittle in 1995, ridden by Mark Dwyer, who had won on Forgive N’Forget 10 years earlier.

An end-of-the-century winner was Simon Sherwood on Suny Bay, who would put Desert Orchid’s former jockey on the map as a trainer.

Daqman’s loyalties were divided when Suny Bay lined up for the 1998 Grand National against 40-1 ante-post bet Earth Summit, gambled down to 7-1 favourite because of the heavy ground.

They finished second and first, the right way round for me, with the 40-1 shot my main bet.

The Tommy Whittle of 2007 had a one-two itself which would flavour the Grand National for years to come with two fine young horses.

Comply Or Die, the runner-up that year, would straightway win at Aintree (2008) and run second the following year.

The seven-year-old winner of that Tommy Whittle of 2007 and favourite to beat Comply Or Die in the National the following Spring, Cloudy Lane made a mistake three out at Aintree and would be no nearer than sixth in three attempts at the big ‘un.

But the public loved Donald McCain’s ever-present over the National fences and, despite the age of 12, he started favourite and won the Aintree Fox Hunters at 4-1.


MASO IMPROVEMENT LIKELY

⭕ 1.20 Lingfield Maso Bastie was an eye-catcher on debut at Kempton when a staying on fourth to Dagmar Run. It was an interesting run from the James Fanshawe trained runner who wasn’t keen on going into the stalls, ran green throughout and according to the Racing Post was ‘tenderly handled’.

It was also interesting to note that he was well backed in the market from 14/1 > 9/2 despite the stable not being well known for debutant winners.

However you interpret the above, it looks pretty clear to me that Maso Bastie has been showing ability at home and should come on plenty for the run and also the step up from 7f to a mile here.

His main rivals on Betdaq Betting Exchange all have a little more experience but I’m not sure they have progressed.

Congresbury (Richard Hannon) has run two similar races at Kempton – the last of which was over today’s trip where he dead-heated for third with City Of York (David Simcock).

City Of York had previously finished three lengths in front of Maso Bastie in the Kempton race but might struggle to confirm that form today.


FANSHAWE AT THE DOUBLE?

⭕ 6.00 Kempton I’m sticking with James Fanshawe, this time at Kempton where his Hickory can complete a hat-trick to remain unbeaten.

After a winning debut at Yarmouth back in 2020 he came back after a long break to also win over course and distance here in October – it didn’t look the strongest of races that day – the main reason he was sent off at 1/5 despite the considerable absence.

He starts life in handicap company off a mark of 80 and can see off the challengers which include Granary Queen who, very harshly, has been raised 3lb to 75, despite form figures of 2322 all off a mark of 72.

⭕ 6.30 Kempton The closing race looks very competitive but Alcazan is in a terrific spell of form and can add a second course and distance win to her name.

She ran a cracker at Wolverhampton last time out to finish a neck second to Ahlawi and might have most to fear here from Algheed who finished third in that race spoiling her chance slightly by running wide.

DAQMAN’S BETS

1.20 Lingfield (win 10, nap)
BET 6.25pts win MASO BASTIE

6.00 Kempton (win 10)
BET 4.5pts win HICKORY

6.30 Kempton (win 10)
BET 3.3pts win ALCAZAN


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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.

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