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DAQMAN’S BULL’S-EYE BIDS IN THE DONCASTER CUP: BETDAQ wisely advises ‘don’t bet if you’re getting angry’ and it’s rare for Daqman to give vent to his frustration but three necks (plus his own, he says!) separated him from a sixth consecutive supernap and outsider on the same day yesterday. He has a 6.0 best bet today and two bull’s-eye bets (win 50) with which to corner the Doncaster Cup.

HE WANTS 70 WINNERS OVER PRICEWISE THIS WEEK: Daqman goes into the day 68-22 up on Pricewise, and 208 points ahead (+102 over -106 to single-unit stakes) in their value challenge. Can Daqman make it 70 this week? Today’s targets are the 1.50, 2.25 and 3.35 Doncaster.


Rarely do I complain. It’s too easy from the Stands, but how on earth did David Probert and Andrea Atzeni lose the first two races at Doncaster yesterday?

There goes my sixth consecutive supernap and longshot at 5-4 and 9-1 (see Wednesday archive)!

You rarely see two mistakes of this magnitude in consecutive races.

Strict Tempo (Probert) failed to find a gap three or four times, didn’t go through one when it was there, finally switching outside to be beaten just a neck (‘That’s racing’).

Then Pilaster (Atzeni) was kept at the back of a slow-tempo Park Hill, got going late on, beaten two necks.

Had the jockey recognised the poor pace, he could have devoured the field before the final quarter turned into a sprint’ (‘You can’t win them all, Daqman’)

If anyone says ‘that’s racing’ and ‘you can’t win them all,’ I’ll send them a copy of a video I’m making in a wind tunnel, with Jose Mourinho and Serena Williams ’discussing’ referees (without microphones).

A Daqman blank on a big day is as rare as any such video, and stops me sleeping at nights. I just hope the Doncaster hoodoo doesn’t last the weekend.


1.50 Doncaster (Sceptre Stakes) Fleeting made it four wins in a row for in-form-again Aidan O’Brien yesterday, and Hence would give him back-to-back wins in this 7f Group 3.

But there hasn’t been any money for Hence since the Spring; no sudden virus-induced flop, so maybe just a nearly horse.

Three-year-olds (they dominate this race) have already beaten Laugh Aloud – albeit her Sandown fourth was after a long absence – and Dancing Star, though she was unlucky at Goodwood, an epithet for many runners there.

Ellthea performed in higher grade in the Spring but will need those forecast ‘afternoon showers’ to be fairly substantial. If they are, they won’t help Laugh Aloud.

Anna Nerium has tackled the best (1,000 Guineas and Alpha Centauri’s Coronation Stakes) and has won two at Group-3 level. She’s the improver of the race and already comes out in front of Dancing Star on a line through Cardsharp.


2.25 Doncaster (Flying Childers Stakes) Stalls 1, 2, 3 have won six times in eight seasons, but the ‘Stay Classy’ stable’s Rumble Inthejungle is a short-priced favourite out in 10.

Rumble had Windsor Castle winner Soldier’s Call outpaced nearly three lengths in the Molecomb.

Legends Of War (in the one stall) was just under three lengths in front of The Irish Rover when runner-up in the Gimcrack. Rover failed to bark or bite in the Sales race yesterday (fifth).

But we remember him running third to Advertise in the Group-1 Phoenix Stakes after that one had finished second in the Coventry and won at the July Meeting.

Queen Mary runner-up Gossamer Wings was also second at the Curragh to Indigo Balance, who was nearly three lengths behind The Irish Rover in the Phoenix.

With Rover as the benchmark, Legends would have been my selection but he’s a Scat Daddy and every race he’s run has been with ‘firm’ in the going return.

Equally, Richard Spencer was thankful for the ground ‘drying out’ for Rumble Inthejungle. So all may hang on those ‘afternoon showers,’ though Rumble looks the power tool of the race.


3.00 Doncaster (Mallard Handicap) A 19lb-long handicap – they’re getting rarer these days – with an open betting market.

At this time of year, you’re looking for one that’s unexposed or had a fairly quiet season.

Ben Vrackle (6.0 in the BETDAQ orange as I write) has run just four times in his entire career, and was second to Maid Up in the Ladbrokes’ March Stakes which prompted connections to run that filly in the St leger.

Walton Street has to give 12lb to my selection; Reverend Jacobs disappointed on the last day; and Austrian School is a bridesmaid with figures of 22322.


3.35 Doncaster Cup The 2016 winner Sheikhzayedroad went on to take the British Champions Long Distance Cup at the big Ascot meeting in October but has been beaten 11 times since.

Thomas Hobson finished a head in front of him when they were second and third in this race last year. He, too, has failed to score since and they are both looking long in the tooth now. Ditto the Willie Mullins pair, Max Dynamite and Rennetti. They need rain to slow down the younger horses.

Though Jukebox Jive has won a handicap at this trip, I’m talking about Algometer, Lord Yeats and Saunter. All are aged five; all are trying 18 furlongs for the first time, not even two-milers.

Algometer is the only horse in the race rated higher than his stablemate Sheikhzayedroad.

Algometer was unlucky to be beaten by the smart Marmelo in a slow-run race at Longchamp in the summer. That puts him ahead of Lord Yeats, who is stepping out of the shadows of giants of the marathon discipline, fifth behind both Order Of St George and Vazirabad in stamina tests and needing rain to get involved here.

In the Ebor at York, Lord Yeats was two places behind Saunter, a winner twice in the summer and already with a Doncaster scalp in the November Handicap.

Thanks to the punter-friendly 104% overround on BETDAQ, I can take two: 6.8 Algometer and 7.6 about Saunter.


1.50 Doncaster (win 20)
BET 4.25pts win ANNA NERIUM

2.25 Doncaster (win 20)

3.00 Doncaster (win 30)
BET 6pts win (nap) BEN VRACKLE

3.35 Doncaster (win 50)

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