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SECONDS OUT! BETDAQ VALUE IS A KNOCKOUT EVERY DAY: Daqman’s having a moan today. ‘I won’t name the jockeys or the ‘rider in the stands’ (me) but the results made an unbearable bridesmaid sequence for my tipping yesterday: three seconds! Pop Rockstar, just failed (2nd 15-2 by a short head), Passing Nod, nearest finish (2nd 11-2), Get Back Get Back (2nd 100-30).’ The good news as you study the cards today is that Pop Rockstar was 10.0 and Passing Nod 6.9 in BETDAQ prices and offers. That’s Daqman’s job: to point out the value. More to come every day.

GOSDEN GOLD STAR STAYS IN TRAINING FOR NEXT YEAR: Every race is a big one tomorrow. Questions will be asked of all the top horses as they line up for British Champions status. Let’s ask one of the questions now: what can beat the John Gosden ace Stradivarius? Latest news is that connections are so confident of his condition they are keeping the Gold Cup star in training in 2021.


⭕ 1.20 Ascot, tomorrow (British Champions Long Distance Cup, 2m) Stradivarius looked unbeatable going into this last year at odds on, after 10 wins in a row, including the same race in 2018.

Maybe the long campaign of 10 in a row was the reason why he ‘got beat’, often having to fight for success, never more than a length and a half better at the winning post than any of his rivals at Ascot, including two Gold Cups.

It finally got to him, or at least Kew Gardens did, on ground considered ‘plenty soft enough’, though he did win a third ‘gold’ in June on soft ground.

It depends what you mean by ‘soft’ and it depends on the opposition: he beat Nayef Road 10 lengths in the Gold Cup on soft but only a length in the Goodwood Cup (going officially ‘good’).

STATS: Horses aged four and five have won five of the last six. Aidan O’Brien’s won three in the decade to Dermot Weld and John Gosden with two apiece.

Frankie Dettori is leading rider thanks to the Gosden pair, Flying Officer and Stradivarius. Stalls 1, 2, 3 have won seven of the last 10.

FORM: Only Stradivarius, Fujaira Prince and Morando have won at Ascot.

DISTANCE: Only Stradivarius, Dawn Patrol and Mildenberger have won over 2m, though Spanish Mission won the Doncaster Cup (2m 2f). Here are the principals in ratings order:

125 Stradivarius Has raced off 118 or higher for three years now. Ascot form: 1311121. Sixteen wins from 24 starts; earnings £2,874,000. Doesn’t win far, but often only does what he has to.

117 Broome Has never raced at Ascot; never won beyond 1m 2f; never won above Group 3. He’s 2-3 on soft.

117 Sovereign Twice beaten by Broome in the trials for the 2019 Epsom Derby and finished only 10th of 13 in the big race. So 33-1 for the Curragh version, but pinched it from the front, with non-stayers looking on from behind.

116 Search For A Song Sovereign was Irish St Leger favourite in September, but faded after trying front-running tactics again. Search For A Song won it from Fujaira Prince, who led in the last quarter mile but was run out of it.

114 Fujaira Prince Won the Ebor (1m 6f) on the soft, after beating Selino at Ascot. Selino proved to be a benchmark for collateral form, going on to be beaten twice by Spanish Mission.

110 Spanish Mission Doncaster Cup winner in the absence of Stradivarius, who had beaten him nearly seven lengths in the Goodwood Cup. Not raced on ground worse than good to soft.

109 Dawn Patrol No form at Ascot and none on soft ground since his debut but won a Group 3 at The Curragh in September, first try at 2m. The runner-up had earlier finished second at Galway to the subsequent French Gold Cup winner, Princess Zoe.


⭕ 1.45 Haydock Hyperfocus made all here on the soft in early September, scoring down the centre of the track from his low draw.

Will the nearside rail support his style from gate 14, or will he fare as he did from the ‘exact same’ stall a year earlier, also on the soft, when run out of it by Alaadel (another winner down the centre)?

Hyperfocus will be giving his archrival 2lb now, not the 5lb which cost him a length-and-threequarter defeat that day.

But Alaadel has tackled four class-2 sprints since then, including sixth to Gulliver in the Coral Sprint at York last year and a similar close-up finish without place prizemoney at Goodwood in August this year.

Woven finished in front of Alaadel that day at Goodwood but hasn’t won in England for more than two years. He gets behind in his races and it’s hard to see why a Hyperfocus front-run would help him, even from the adjacent stall. He’ll probably go left and take a middle-of-the-track hold-up position, where Alaadel should get first run.

Commanche Falls is going for a Haydock hat-trick. But his trainer insists that it was the better ground (soft, good to soft in places) that helped him win here in September. Today’s ‘heavy’ should be drying out but how much is not easy to predict.

I’ll stick with Alaadel (BETDAQ 11.0). Hiring Oisin Murphy didn’t work at Goodwood, where he was beaten favourite, but Haydock is his track and there’s another strong booking, Tom Marquand taking over today.

The hidden horse is Lord Oberon (BETDAQ 12.0), form at Haydock over 6f on soft 2223 but lower in the ratings now than for all four of those placed efforts.


⭕ 2.23 Uttoxeter This is Dan Skelton’s best track (85 winners)with a 28% strike rate from his largest entry at any course in the country. That improves to 37% when Harry is riding.

Some 30 of Dan’s winners here have come in handicap hurdles and he’s switched Supremely Lucky back to that discipline after three times second over fences.

Lucky’s last hurdle race was a nine-lengths success over the course and distance. He’s had a long break and a wind op, and reappears in first-time cheekpieces. BETDAQ betting exchange at 9.0 this morning.

Philip Hobbs is looking for his 100th winner at Uttoxeter and the step up in trip for lightly-raced Espion (BETDAQ 4.5) should prompt improvement.


⭕ 2.48 Haydock Stuart Williams has another good chance here after Alaadel. Give It Some Teddy (BETDAQ 7.5) landed a double for Tim Easterby around this time last year and was a bit unlucky in a big field at Newbury on the last day, when his claimer lost his whip.

Brentford Hope, disappointing as beaten favourite three times in a row, drops back to a mile on the basis of ‘unbelievable pace’ shown at home (quote unquote trainer Richard Hughes).

Brentford Hope took his maiden spectacularly, but so did Romeo Montague and you wouldn’t back him to win Love Island on Verona Beach.

Mascat is another maiden-only winner full of promise that never materialises. Pity ITV are not here today so we can bet who gleefully mentions him for running second to Palace Pier last summer. No offers, Chapman.

Just Hiss has run nine times at Haydock without success. Joyful Mission is a Sir Michael Stoute cast-off. Sagauteur was given too much weight, coming over from France. Markazi is an off-putting 1-21 in England


1.45 Haydock (win 20)
BET 2pts win ALAADEL

2.23 Uttoxeter (win 20, win 10)
BET 2.8pts win ESPION

2.48 Haydock (win 20, nap)

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