DAQMAN SUPERNAP IN THE MUSIDORA: The York Spring Meeting starts today with the fillies’ Oaks trial, the Musidora, with Team Gosden’s favourite a supernap, but there are plenty of value offers on the card at BETDAQ 5.5, 6.2, 6.3, 9.1, 10.0, 14.5 and 28.0.

RAIN FORECAST: The Dante Derby trial is also likely to have a hot favourite, whose value may depend on the showers forecast to fall on Knavesmire ‘good’ ground this afternoon and during the night.


⭕ 2.15 York (1m 4f handicap) Four-year-olds only win this; that is, until Scampi scored last year.
Only Crystal Delight and Marhaba The Champ can be seriously considered of those aged five today.

Mahaba The Champ is 2-2 at York, including at this meeting last year, both wins on firm ground and only 7lb overall higher than his mark before those hits, one at 1m 2f and one at today’s trip, but gelded since.

Crystal Delight was eighth in this race last year but took the City And Suburban the last day so his weight has shot up 7lb higher than anything he’s carried before.

Klondike, second in the Derby trial at Goodwood last May, failed to cope in Group events and had wind surgery after, as second favourite, he finished last to the odds-on Arrest in the Geoffrey Freer on good to soft in August. Handicap debut.

Flash Bardot won at Epsom on the firm last summer but his 1m 4f hat-trick achieved in four races between September and April this year was all on soft ground.

Daqman’s verdict Flash Bardot (BETDAQ 10.0), well drawn and progressive and with the fillies’ allowance; won’t mind the forecast showers. Klondike (5.5) could strike gold, dropped in class.


2.45 York (6f handicap) Eight winners out of 10 were a double-figure SP, all trained in Yorkshire or even further North.

But I fancy the luckless Great Ambassador, a CD winner given a chance by the handicapper. BETDAQ 14.5.

He’s 9lb lower than when second in the Ayr Gold Cup and 10lb below his mark when, racing on the wrong side in the Stewards Cup, he was bumped as he challenged for a place and was beaten less than three lengths.

Lethal Levi (BETDAQ 6.3), beaten only a neck last year, is 5lb lower, 3lb better off with the third, Magical Spirit. Makanah was fourth, with Mr Wagyu and Dakota Gold behind.


⭕ 3.15 York (Duke Of York Stakes, 6f Group 2) Young horses (4yo 6-7) win this from single-figure stalls (9-10).

Last year Azure Blue beat the 2022 winner, Highfield Princess, with Commanche Falls 3rd, Marshman 5th, Diligent Harry 6th, Art Power 8th.

Marshman, just three years old then, and slowly away, was beaten only three lengths. Back to form in March, going down a neck to Montassib, who had finished last season winning the York Spring Trophy, but both races were on the soft.

Mill Stream, who acts on any going, was placed in a big-field sprint here last June, won a Group 3 at Deauville and, on his reappearance, went down less than length in the Abernant to Washington Heights (Spycatcher 3rd, Tiber Flow 5th, Commanche Falls 8th).

Swingalong is 2-2 at York, winner of the Lowther Stakes as a 2yo, and a Group 3 last July before fourth in both the Haydock Sprint Cup and the British Champions Sprint in the autumn (Spycatcher 3rd).

Betdaq Betting Exchange 6.2 Mill Stream, 9.1 Swingalong, 28 Marshman


⭕ 3.45 York (Musidora Stakes, 1m 2.5f) John Gosden, who has won this five times in nine seasons, has not voiced pretensions of a Classic year but his Kingman filly, Friendly Soul, won friends when taking the Pretty Polly 10 days back, without much influencing people to back her for the Oaks.

Punters will need a sniff of Ylang Ylang, from the flowers of the Cananga tree – pronounced ‘eelang eelang’ and said to encourage ‘self confidence’ – if they fancy Friendly Soul toppling the Oaks favourite.

Take the 10-1 and you might get some ‘overs,’ or you might not. That’s what ante-post betting is all about, the ‘overs’ from the value offers, not about picking the winner in advance.

Team Gosden’s Musidora star last year, Soul Sister at 18-1, went on to win the Oaks at 11-4 from ‘nowhere’ in the market, but Emily Upjohn, the York winner the year before, was beaten a short-head at Epsom by Tuesday.


2.15 York (win 20)
BET 4.5pts win KLONDIKE
BET 2pts win and place FLASH BARDOT

2.45 York (win 20)
BET 1pt win and place GREAT AMBASSADOR

3.15 York (win-50 bull’s-eye bets)
BET 6.25pts win SWINGALONG
BET 1.75pts win and place MARSHMAN

3.45 York (supernap)

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