SECRETS OF THE CHELTENHAM SHOCKS: Among the unconsidered ranks of Cheltenham probables are plot horses with the big stables which will win at huge odds. The stats say they will strike in more than one of five particular races. Daqman tries to trace them today, tomorrow.. and right up until the ‘off’!

TOMORROW: ANTE-POST UPDATE: With 13 days to go to the festival, Daqman has the plotters in his sights, and tomorrow will review his ante-post bets, accordingly.

PLUNGE HORSE LANDS THE NAP: The world and his wife joined in the plunge on Daqman’s 4-5 nap, Traveller (WON 1-3), at Lingfield yesterday. ‘I didn’t make him a banker because he hadn’t won a race before, ‘says our man, ‘but he won like one.’


The top stables are hiding heroes! How else do you explain that the English big two of Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson head the list for winning outsiders at the Cheltenham Festival over the last 10 years.

Overall, big-odds plotters have swooped at 66-1, 50-1, 40-1 (four times), 33-1 (eight times), 28-1 (twice), 25-1 (four times) and 20-1 (eight times) in the decade. The top races for long-odds returns, and the leading trainers who bag them, are:


Coral Cup (Wednesday): 33-1, 16-1 (twice), 14-1 (twice)

Plate (Thursday) 66-1, 50-1, 33-1, 25-1, 18-1, 16-1, 14-1

Pertemps Final (Thursday): 50-1, 25-1, 20-1, 18-1, 16-1 (twice), 14-1 (twice)

Grand Annual (Friday) 40-1, 28-1, 20-1 (twice), 16-1 (twice)

Albert Bartlett (Friday) 33-1 (twice), 14-1


169 Nicky Henderson (40-1 Fred Winter, 25-1 Martin Pipe, 22-1 Champion Hurdle, 20-1 Grand Annual (twice), 14-1 Coral Cup (twice), 14-1 Plate), where 169 is the total of the SP odds of his big-priced winners.

117 Paul Nicholls (28-1 Grand Annual, 25-1 Fred Winter, 20-1 County Hurdle, 14-1 RSA, 16-1 and 14-1 Martin Pipe)

99 Venetia Williams (50-1 and 33-1 Plate, 16-1 Pertemps Final)

87 David Pipe (33-1 Arkle, 20-1 and 16-1 Pertemps Final, 18-1 Plate)

85 Willie Mullins (40-1 Supreme Novice Hurdle, 25-1 and 20-1 County Hurdle)

72 Jonjo O’Neill (33-1 NH Chase, 25-1 Pertemps Final, 14-1 Ryanair)

68 Colin Tizzard (40-1 Grand Annual, 28-1 Ultima)

50 Nigel Twiston-Davies (18-1 Pertemps Final, 16-1 Kim Muir, 16-1 Grand Annual)

49 Alan King (33-1 Coral Cup, 16-1 Ryanair)

49 John Quinn (33-1 Triumph Hurdle, 16-1 Kim Muir)

41 Gordon Elliott (25-1 Fred Winter, 16-1 Coral Cup)

36 Tony Martin (20-1 JLT, 16-1 Grand Annual)

36 Donald McCain (20-1 Mares Hurdle, 16-1 Coral Cup)


2.40 Wincanton It’s an earlier than expected return for the champ Richard Johnson who has been off since last Wednesday with a niggle from an old shoulder injury and did not intend to return until Friday.

However DAQMAN has spotted he has accepted one ride today at Wincanton – Town Parks in this handicap hurdle.

His trainer Kerry Lee rarely visits the course, however she has sent just two chasers there from her Hereford base and one has won.

This on a day when there is a home meeting for her at Ffos Las, which she swerves altogether in favour of the solo Wincanton raid today.

Town Parks comes into this on the back of a maiden hurdle win at Ludlow where he pipped Beneagles by a short head.

The pair had the rest of the field strung out like washing and the lightly raced runner can make a winning debut in handicap company on the soft ground he seems to relish.

Pure Vision looks vulnerable. He won nicely at Lingfield two starts ago but the handicapper has raised him a full 12lb since that win and he has had a break since a tough race at Uttoxeter 60 days ago.

Instagram would do well to be involved in a photo finish….. Sorry, someone had to say it.

4.50 Ffos Las There’s heavy ground and then there’s Ffos Las heavy ground.

It’s highly likely we will see extended winning distances throughout the afternoon and by the closing bumper it will be attritional for the lightly raced sorts.

Absolute Power has come out of the race and I now favour the chances of Well Smitten who proved that heavy ground was no barrier to him at Hereford with a good run there last time out when second to Runasimi River.

That sets a fair level for the debutants to shoot at and he is preferred to the 100/1 Bangor winner Samson’s Reach.

7.00 Newcastle Am saving my final bet of the day for Newcastle tonight and a regulalar favourite of the column John ‘Godsend’ Gosden.

Trenchard was only fourth at Southwell on his debut but looked in need of the race and the immediate step up to a mile tonight should suit.

Armandihan is the likely favourite but it was slightly disappointing to not see him build on a promising debut when a beaten favourite at Redcar last October.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked for strength, 1 to 9)
BET 7pts win (nap) TOWN PARKS (2.40 Wincanton)
BET 6pts win WELL SMITTEN (4.50 Ffos Las)
BET 6pts win TRENCHARD (7.00 Newcastle)

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