CHELTENHAM VERDICT: DON’T BE AFRAID OF THOSE HOT FAVOURITES: Daqman concludes his Cheltenham preview for the time being, with the timely topic of lays. Daqman gave 16 consecutive at the Cheltenham Festival.
THE ULTIMATE BET AT LUDLOW: Daqman today naps Ultimate, going to Ludlow from Yorkshire despite winning at Doncaster at this time last year. He tips two in the veterans’ chase at the Northern meeting, thanks to value offers on BETDAQ.
BETDAQ-SPONSORED RACES TONIGHT: This evening at Kempton Park, Daqman spots a trainer who is in the hot list and the cold list of stables.. at the same time! What’s going on? Four BETDAQ-sponsored races. That’s what’s going on.
You are always looking for a favourite to ‘get beat.’ That lore of betting was confirmed as law after the lesson of Navan yesterday, when four consecutive odds-on favourites, three of them quoted in the Cheltenham market place, were stuffed a total of more than 80 lengths.
And the sub-sections of that law are: they get beat particularly on extremes of going (like yesterday’s Irish bog) and more particularly in trial races close to a big festival.
But, at the same time, if yours truly or my colleague, Shamrock, had put up On His Own (10-1 SP) or Chicago Grey (25-1), and they’d lost, we would have roasted on the spit and venom of the losing punter. And kicked ourselves – or been kicked – down Ireland’s M3 motorway.
In fact, there is one principal law of betting: whatever is value at the time, that’s your bet: whether it’s the night before on BETDAQ, the morning rush to the orange, or the late exchanges.
Somewhere along the line, you, the punter, have to take a position and, being a BETDAQ man, you can change that position as many times as you like, right up to the line. Including laying that favourite!
Odds-on favourites are not such frightening apparitions, or nearly such certainties, as their domination of the betting implies. So let’s lay the ghost in this column, as the big-race scene at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown looms large on the horizon.
Yesterday, laying the hotpots at Navan, at 8-15, 4-6, 1-2 and 4-6 again, your level stakes loss – lay 10 points per favourite – would have been only 23.5, had they all won.
In other words, if every one of those favourites had gone in (extremely unlikely, as results reveal), you would need only two to be successful today to very nearly recoup your losses.
How else do you think the bookies make their money: they know that a sequence of favourites will be ‘bust’ and they will go all out to ‘get’ one to put them back in front.
I’ve currently had 9 successful out of 12 for 40 points profit. That’s a 75% strike rate. Over the years in this column, I have reckoned on 72% at the SPs that have been returned as the target for a steady profit, a profit which can pay for all your other bets, if you are careful.
Yes, you say, but look at Cheltenham this year: five favourites at 2-1 or less, two or three likely to be odds on; surely they’re ‘good things.’
Well, if you check out my Library (scan right down there!), you will see that in three seasons I had 16 consecutive successful Cheltenham lays, no losers (or rather, no winners; they all lost). Check them out!
If I can do only 72% as well as that, I will be on target for my usual lays profit and pay for my festival bets. I’ll be laying down (pun intended) the rules of the game nearer the time.
The subsidiary law to value-hunting is pricing up. How do you know what is value? How can you spot a weak favourite? In both cases, you need an idea of what price a horse should be.
So it is that, in the last three weeks or so running up to Cheltenham and Aintree, I shall be looking at pricing up: too big a price, it’s a bet; too short, it’s a lay. Odds on? Well, as we’ve seen, I need only two ‘results’ out of six for a near break-even, and three from seven would put me ahead of the game.
DONCASTER Swing Bill trials for the Grand National, giving weight to in-form Marufo but that one has never put back-to-back wins together before.
The Doncaster horse here is Corkage (8.4 on BETDAQ as I write) and the one dropped in class, with the ground come for him, is Aurora’s Encore (8.2) from a stable in good heart.
LUDLOW Malton trainer Brian Ellison swerves the Yorkshire meeting at Doncaster, where Ultimate won at this time last year, and sends him to Ludlow (3.45): the front-runner, at 4.5 on BETDAQ, could get away from them. Nothing much to beat.
5.30 Kempton (Free Entry Every Wednesday For Betdaq Members Handicap) Would you believe it! David Evans is in both the hot-trainers list and the cold-stables table in the Racing Post on the same day.
It shows just how confusing stats can be? Well, to be fair, Evans had a week of glory, followed by eights days of misery (25 losers) so you can see how the simple stats for a fortnight’s training can’t tell the whole story.
A run of 11321120112331 in early February suddenly hit the buffers and Evans has since had those 25 consecutive losers, nine placed without winning (I hate to see a stable miss strike like that, placed without winning).
In pricing up this race, you’d have to build in to your Danziger offer this query over the Evans yard. Equally, or more so, you’d want to diss the chances of Even Bolder, who’s ‘feeling fine’ trainer, Eric Wheeler, hasn’t had a single winner for one year, four days, and 18 hours, as I write.
That doesn’t mean Danziger and Even Bolder won’t win; it means you won’t be taking short odds in a big-overround book offered to you by those scheming bookies.
But, at 107% total probability on BETDAQ this morning, you might fancy taking an early position against them. Or laying that Danziger, if you think D Evans is on a slippery slope!
I certainly won’t be backing Danziger at 2.25. There are winners of seven other Kempton sprints in this race and, if the handicapper has done his job right, they are weighted to finish in a line.
I think the value is Rambo Will, a Spring horse with wins around March time off 63 and 65. He was running with a rating of 70 or more for 15 consecutive races, until finally being dropped a few pounds the last twice but trying to make all over 6f. Back to 5f today, he’s a similar price at 8.0 to Even Bolder. That can’t be right!
6.00 Kempton (Back And Lay At betdaq.com Handicap) I can’t get Gay Kelloggs right! She’s on my list – headed by David Elsworth – of trainers I just don’t fathom.
I went to David’s once in the heady Desert Orchid days at Whitsbury and watched the horses gallop, with The Great Grumpus himself standing right beside me.
I might as well have been watching with Ken Dodd. David gave nothing away, not even how tickled he was with a big chesnut I fancied, which went on to win at Ascot.
I said: ‘He’s a fine, big sort..’ David replied: ‘Yes, he is, isn’t he?’ So I said: ‘He’s a galloper; I can see him striding out in the final furlong at Ascot’. Said David: ‘Can you now.’
Equally, I came out none the wiser from Gay-Gay’s: this time, rather than keeping schtum, the trainer told me, and showed me, everything there was to know about her horses.
We watched countless videos, a veritable Phil Spector wall-of-sound of race after race, until I felt I’d been up the hill-finishes at Cheltenham, Sandown and Towcester all in one day. On 20 different horses.
Good luck, Gay, with Conducting but I won’t be on, and this morning’s BETDAQ market suggests that I’m not alone in making that decision.
Forecast paper favourite at 5-2, the dual Lingfield winner Conducting was a lonely dog on a raft this morning, drifted to 6.0, at the time of writing.
The one they wanted was Whitby Jet, a CD winner in this grade 3lb higher in December. You could say ‘from a yard doing well’, since Ed Vaughan has had only two runners in the last fortnight, and he’s had a first and third, the winner taking a mile handicap here at Kempton a week back.
Abigail’s Angel is another whose ‘done good’ at this time of year – three wins in a row last February and March – and Six Silver Lane could be a surprise packet, dropped 10lb by the handicapper since December (was that wise, sir?)
Since they’re also claiming off him, Six Silver Lane is 18lb lower than for his English debut at Kempton in November. A winner on the sands at Laytown and on the Polytrack of Dundalk. A bit to win of 8.2 this morning.
6.30 Kempton (Win Big With Betdaq Multiples Claiming Stakes) Hurricane Spirit comes out top on adjusted ratings and is claimed off but he hasn’t won over 7f for more than six years.
However he might win by default, with another nine-year-old nearest to him in the betting and a Southwell horse, Only Ten per Cent, the other one backed.
7.00 Kempton (Betdaq Games £50 Hard Cash Bonus Handicap) A tough call or what! And, omg, David Elsworth’s got a runner (do you think he heard me?)
The favourite, Spirit Of Gondree, has been finishing his races well, so might get this trip over Sommersturm (David Evans again) and the front-runner, Sovento.
Time Square gets on well with the boy, Joey Haynes, but horses at this level can rarely put back-to-back wins together. So I’m passing (that will probably guarantee a 15.0 BETDAQ winner is going begging: Handsome Molly.. trainer, D Elsworth).
BET 2.7pts win on each AURORAS ENCORE and CORKAGE (2.50 Doncaster)
BET 5.7pts win (nap) ULTIMATE (3.45 Ludlow)
LAY 10pts DANZIGER and BET 2.8pts win RAMBO WILL (5.30 Kempton)
BET 2.7pts win SIX SILVER LANE (6.00 Kempton)
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