20-1 ASCOT SMASHER AND JOVIALITY JACKPOT: Daqman landed a quick one-two at Ascot yesterday, smashing in the opening winner, Ishvan (WON 20-1), and landing a jackpot hit on Joviality in the very next race.
16.5 ON BETDAQ ABOUT 11-1 HERO: Joviality (WON 11-1) was taken by his column at 16.5 on Betdaq in morning offers, with Daqman declaring: ‘There’s a hoodoo on the favourites in this race so I’m stepping up my stake on Joviality.’
110 POINTS FROM 28 BIG WINNERS: His jackpot bets in the last race of the day were saved through the favourite, Duntle (WON 4-1), so that he’s now had 28 high-stakes winners this year, showing a profit of 110 points.
2.30 ROYAL ASCOT (Norfolk Stakes): Results by draw in the first two days have swung like a pendulum and I expect this smaller field to come down the favoured middle strip.
Only Richard Hannon (two runners here) and Mick Channon, who relies on Cay Verde, have had horses in the frame in this week’s Ascot two-year-old classics.
Cay Verde has beaten the winner and third of the Windsor Castle, and Hannon’s Mister Marc has run second to the Coventry winner, Dawn Approach.
Morawij had winners behind him at Haydock on a fast surface, and the Roger Varian yard is 3-3 with juveniles this season.
But Ladbrokes, who know the score at Ballydoyle, are well over on the front two in the betting, while (at 11-2) very much shorter Aidan O’Brien’s Gale Force Ten than any other bookmaker, so the 9.0 on BETDAQ looks good.
3.05 ROYAL ASCOT (Ribblesdale Stakes): Colima was one of my Oaks bets, on the assumption that she would turn around Lingfield Oaks Trial form with Vow. She didn’t.
I then swapped her in my horses-to-follow list for The Fugue, after that one’s unlucky Oaks run behind Was, in which she still finished ahead of Vow and must surely have caught the runner-up, Shirocco Star, given daylight earlier on.
The Ballydoyle horses can suddenly take a leap forward but it’s hard to expect Twirl (easy to back at 30.0 as I write), after her 11th at Epsom, to turn round the form, since she was also beaten easily by The Fugue in the Musidora.
However, that Oaks winner, Was, is a Ballydoyle filly, so Aidan O’Brien should know what Twirl has to do here. So should Dermot Weld, trainer of Princess Highway.
Princess Highway was well behind Twirl last season but her dam won this Ribblesdale and the filly is unbeaten this year, including defeat of Was. That form taken at face value puts her ahead of Shirocco Star and The Fugue but the Was race – at Naas– was run in very slow time, even allowing for the yielding surface. You need a price, and 8.4 offers on BETDAQ are fair enough.
Kailani was another nearly knocked over in the Oaks and had run away with a Listed on a more conventional track at Newmarket earlier, but Godolphin continue to have a moderate season.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s last two winners were in a maiden and a handicap, and Mahmood Al Zarooni has taken just one class-5 handicap from 23 starters in the last fortnight.
Of his four runners at Royal Ascot so far, Bridgefield was stone last and the three others missed strike ominously, all between four and seven lengths off the winner, fifth, sixth and seventh. That rules out Kailani for me, but what about Colour Vision and Opinion Poll in the big race?
3.45 ASCOT GOLD CUP: I never enjoy superstars like Fame And Glory because, most of the time, I’m thinking about laying them in this column, trying to decide whether I’m on the knife-edge or within the margin of long-term lay profitability.
With a Frankel, you only lose pennies for pounds at 10-1 on, so no stress: it’s ‘laugh a lay’ time and you’re really only punting that he might have an off day (that ‘might’ was this week connecting ‘pigs’ to winged flight).
A better lay probability was defeat for So You Think, who had to beat eight younger horses, but they failed to rise to the occasion.
So, while layers have loved the big-odds winners in the week so far, they dread the hot pair still to come, Fame And Glory here and Black Caviar on Saturday, particularly after the single bets of £100,000 – and some lucky blighter’s even £50,000 – So You Think yesterday.
Opinion Poll fans can point to his narrowing the gap on Fame And Glory: three lengths down in last year’s Gold Cup but with only a length and a quarter to make up on Long Distance Cup form, but that was half a mile shorter.
Saddler’s Rock hammered Opinion Poll in the Doncaster Cup but was getting a massive weight concession, albeit all bar 3lb was weight for age.
However, like Colour Vision, third to Fame And Glory over 2m here, they have two years on their side, which should mean improvement and lungs over the favourite. I said it ‘should’; in the case of So You Think, it didn’t.
Sequence winners of the ‘gold’, Yeats, Royal Rebel and Ardross all won first time at age five. Like Fame And Glory. Gildoran, Le Moss and Sagaro all won first time at age four. Like Colour Vision or Saddler’s Rock?
With the cloud over Godolphin runners, I am taking Saddler’s Rock to win, and opposing the favourite. Even if I lay Fame And Glory and Black Caviar, and both win, my maths say I will have dented my 70-points lays profits by only 17% and there are plenty of genuinely false favourites to come which will get me my money back.
4.25 ROYAL ASCOT (Britannia Stakes): You need to be drawn high or low (see my Monday guide in the Archive): there’s plenty of pace on the high side via Hamza, Leqqaa, Lord Of The Shadows and Red Seventy, but the low numbers have plenty of toe from Kahruman (in stall 2), Compton (3), Fast or Free (6), Mister Music (7), Piri Wango (8), and Anaconda (10).
From the far rail, Forest Row and Fast or Free (only three runs each) could improve but, at the offers on BETDAQ, I would take Piri Wango (20.0 this morning) out of that bunch, after his giving 11lb to the runner-up and winning at Dundalk, then next time there giving yesterday’s winner Ishavan 8lb and being only a length and a half down at the line. Can he now do it for Frankie Dettorti on turf?
Born To Surprise (in 5) at 13.0 is my other low number, ridden by the man for a big-field occasion, Jamie Spencer: ran away with his maiden and missed the break in the Craven Stakes. That race has worked out just three or five lengths off Classic-winning standard.
On the stands’ side, Frog Hollow, who has the best draw today of all those who ran in the Haydock firm-ground race won by Gabrial at the end of May, is blinkered for the first time. They might work but I don’t like adding another ‘maybe’ to the pros and cons.
Nothing’s gone right for Trader Jack (heavy ground, wrong trip) to date and he could be a stone better horse than we’ve seen; maybe he’ll have to be to get out of that (stall 18) middle-draw sandwich.
5.00 ROYAL ASCOT (Tercentenary Stakes): Grandeur, who beat Trader Jack at Goodwood, and Wrotham Heath, who pipped Grandeur receiving weight at Epsom, both run in this Group 3.
They have won only class-2 handicaps so far and have to improve but the favourite, Tales Of Grimm, hasn’t even done that, and has a bit to find with Stipulate on the book.
Only 3.8 points separate seven horses in the BETDAQ list of offers as I write, even though it is only 5% overround. Must be a close call.
I’ll have my pound on the Group-2 form of Energizer’s close fourth in the German 2,000 Guineas. The winner that day had already won a Group-3 and the third horse was only three lengths off Ishvana yesterday. So we have a bit of an each-way chance at 10.0
5.35 ROYAL ASCOT (King George V Stakes): The stats say that the winner will come from the top nine in the handicap but it’s not hard to exclude the top weight, Rougemont, for his heavy burden and wide draw.
I’ll take stable hints: that Gabrial The Great (8.6) has been laid out for this; that Moldowney (17.5) travels over from Ireland. Uriah Heep (17.0) is better than the odds suggest.
BET 2.5pts win and place GALE FORCE TEN (2.30 Royal Ascot)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 12.5pts win THE FUGUE and 4pts win PRINCESS HIGHWAY (3.05 Royal Ascot)
LAY to win 10pts FAME AND GLORY, and BET 4pts win SADDLER’S ROCK (nap, 3.45 Royal Ascot)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 2.8pts win TRADER JACK, 2.5pts win BORN TO SURPRISE, 2pts win FOREST ROW and 1.5pts win and place PIRI WANGO (4.25 Royal Ascot)
BET 2.2pts win and place ENERGIZER (5.00 Royal Ascot)
BET 2.6pts win GABRIAL THE GREAT and 1.2pts win on each MOLDOWNEY and URIAH HEEP (5.35 Royal Ascot)
HORSES TO FOLLOW running today: THE FUGUE (3.05 Royal Ascot), COLOUR VISION (3.45 Royal Ascot). Results so far this week: Most Improved (WON 9-1), Bonnie Brae (unplaced).
* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken at the time of writing.
* Points are what you make them: if you bet in tenners, then 4pts win is £40; 3.2pts win is £32 (in fivers, those stakes would be £20 and £16). Daqman bets to a level return so that you can easily assess his tipping ability.
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