NOW IT’S A 6-4 NAP FOR IN-FORM DAQMAN: Royal Holiday (WON 6-4) landed Daqman’s nap at Southwell yesterday, as his run of success continued (check out the Archive) ahead of a feast of top-class Easter races.

TODAY: WE HAVE ‘DOUBLE YOUR MONEY’ OVERS ON THE NATIONAL: This morning’s defection of Prince Du Beauchene from the Aintree Grand National has Daqman’s bet, Cappa Bleu, quoted at half, even less than half, the odds he took on BETDAQ in this column.

TOMORROW: STATS AND EYEOPENERS FOR THE EASTER PARADE: Look out for Daqman’s weekend preview of stats and facts about the Easter parade of Lincoln Handicap, Rosebery Stakes, Dubai World Cup and Irish Grand National, to name but a few, as they say.


I feel 100 per cent better about Cappa Bleu for the Grand National. That’s because I’ve got 100 per cent better odds! And I hope you are wallowing in the ‘overs’, too.

This column was on Cappa Bleu at 23.0 on BETDAQ to win 50 points at Aintree. This morning he’s 11-1 and 12-1 but 10-1 in a place or two with the bookies. Check it out in Daqman Library and in the Oddschecker betting lists on line.

Evan Williams’s Welsh raider could even be a point or two shorter, depending where you look, when this morning’s announcement sinks in that one of the market leaders, Prince Du Beauchene, has – like last year – suffered an injury in the run-up to the race which will keep him in his box.

It’s bad luck on trainer Willie Mullins, who seemed to have a double handful in the race – he still has the favourite, On His Own (Ruby Walsh now seems certain to ride) – and in Monday’s Irish version at Fairyhouse, for which Back In Focus and Boston Bob are among the front-runners in the market.

You could still get 13.0 Cappa Bleu for Aintree on BETDAQ at the time of writing. I also noted Colbert Station at 14.5 and Sunnyhillboy at 24.0.

This is very big about ‘Sunny’ – both are 14-1 with one major firm – but you takes your chance on who rides: though Tony McCoy has said in some Press quarters that’s he’s on ‘Sunny’, the market implies that he has a preference for Colbert Station.

Here’s another spot, this time in the trade paper: for some (computer software?) reason, the Racing Post rarely seems to name two-year-old nursery runners in its ‘handicap debut’ list on the Signposts pages. Watch for that later in the season.

Meanwhile, those two-year-olds, which are now three, are still being left out: unless my eyes deceive me, both Niknad and So Lyrical (6.50) are first time in a handicap at Wolverhampton tonight.

In receipt of up to 13lb, both are unexposed in maidens and, in fact, are both marked ’handicap debut’ in the Spotlight copy beneath the race. At 5.2 and 6.0 respectively, I shall dutch them in the hope that one is too good for the known losers, which includes the strange case of Bubbly Bailey.

‘Bailey’ has top weight but, in effect, is still a maiden, after being disqualified at Lingfield in December, though that didn’t stop the handicapper making his mark.

Another first time in a handicap is Suffice (7.50) – and that one is in the Racing Post list – who is fit from hurdling and could have too many guns for last-day winners, All The Winds and Blazing Desert, both of an age which suggests they are unlikely to put back-to-back wins together.

In fact, a bigger threat may be Knightly Escapade, switched from John Dunlop to Brian Ellison. Again, with the total probability of the odds on offer below 110%, I can dutch two against a small field.

Tom Eaves does a double stint to ride Knightly Escapade: he’s at Southwell in the afternoon for Apache Rising (4.55), trained by Bryan Smart.

Smart and Eaves won at the track with the improver Dubai Hills on Saturday, and Apache Rising was unlucky not to win here in February (Makinson Lane behind) when short of room in the final furlong.

Despite the small field, that race was run faster than Makinson Lane’s maiden earlier in the month and faster than Luv U Whatever’s defeat of Loki’s Strike last Tuesday.

Dubai Hills win was a scintillating performance, costing me money on Frontier Fighter, who was pipped for third place by Caldercruix.

The 1-2-4 surrounding Caldercruix in that race were rated 92, 87 and 84. No wonder he came clear in the market early doors for today’s mile handicap over the same CD (3.10).

Second favourite Kung Hei Fat Choy races off only 78 and third in the market, Our Ivor, off 72. Not only that, but smart claimer Raul Da Silva takes 3lb off the in-form Caldercruix.

Da Silva well knows Caldercruix – he’s won on him over 6f and 7f at Southwell – and has the beating of this field on a line through Flying Pickets, fifth behind him three weeks ago but close up to Caledonia Prince here in February.

Mark Usher, who had a winner at Southwell yesterday, booking Neil Callan for a 20-1 shock, has William Buick on his side at Lingfield for what I thought would be another double-figure tilt, Sweet Ovation (3.00).

But Sweet Ovation was in to 6.6 second favourite at the time of writing. So it seems that punters have also noticed that the handicapper has dropped her to a mark 8lb lower than for her CD win in the same grade in February.

DAQMAN’S BETS
BET 3.5pts win SWEET OVATION (3.00 Lingfield)
BET 11pts win (nap) CALDERCRUIX (3.10 Southwell)
BET 6.6pts win APACHE RISING (4.55 Southwell)
BET 4.7pts win NIKNAD and 4pts win SO LYRICAL (6.50 Wolverhampton
BET 5.7pts win KNIGHTLY ESCAPADE and 6pts win SUFFICE (7.50 Wolverhampton)

Daqman’s bets are each staked to win 20 points. To calculate the BETDAQ offer taken at the time the selection was made, divide 20 by the stake.


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