BALLY GOOD WINNER SO THE SUPERNAP PROFITS HIT 116 POINTS: Supernaps returned yesterday, with a maximum-stakes even-money bet on Latrobe (WON 9-10) in the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown, boosting profits beyond the 100-point mark again. His records now read:
Daqman 54 Pricewise 26 (Daqman 296 points clear to 10pt stakes)
Bull’s-eye naps (6-12) 264 points up to recommended stakes
Supernaps (17-24) 116 points up to 20pt stakes
DAQMAN LOOKS FOR PENNIES FROM HEAVEN IN STORMY WEATHER: Unfortunately thunderstorms make betting tricky today but Daqman’s answer is always: lower your stakes and find outsiders with hidden form. Somewhere among these headlines he hopes for a winner or two, if it rains pennies from heaven.
🔹 HIDDEN-HORSE ULSTER A SOFT TOUCH
🔹 RAIN COULD POUR CASH FOR CARROLL
🔹 LYTHAM LOOKS LIKELY TO LOVE SOFT
🔹 AQUARIUM BIG FISH ON EASY GROUND
🔹 CANDY IN THE CHELMSFORD TWILIGHT
HIDDEN-HORSE ULSTER A SOFT TOUCH
3.40 Musselburgh (Archerfield Cup) Runner-up in the Queen’s Cup here in the Spring, Ulster should be at home on soft ground and first-time blinkers will give him another edge for a trainer who has a 44% strike-rate on the course.
Ulster is the hidden horse here at a massive 7.4 BETDAQ offer against a favourite, ironically Alright Sunshine, who may not be all right unless there is some!
It’s officially soft at the Edinburgh track, and Alright Sunshine’s form on a softened surface is 23, compared with his top-of-the-ground returns of 111121.
Ulster, by a sire who gets soft-ground winners, has a dam’s-side grandsire (Selkirk) noted for progeny who like plenty of cut in the ground.
Ulster’s form has been disguised by two runs at Ascot, one over a marathon trip in the Ascot Stakes, a much higher level, and one on hard ground.
RAIN COULD POUR CASH FOR CARROLL
4.00 Brighton (Bullet) Tony Carroll ran four in the Brighton Mile on Wednesday and they finished first, third and fourth.
I fancied my chances of beating them all with Medieval, who was backed as if defeat was out of the question and, unfortunately, was ridden with the same overconfidence.
He led early at the furlong pole which turned out to be too soon and, giving 3lb to the winner, was beaten a couple of lengths at 9-4 favourite.
Down the field was Pour La Victoire (a 6.0 BETDAQ offer this morning), who is one of Carroll’s quartet in this 6f sprint, having won it twice already off 72 (soft) and off 70 (firm).
He’s on the 72 mark here again on ground which ran good to firm yesterday but which was likely to have taken thundery showers overnight and this morning, before the sun reappears this afternoon.
Dream Catching is 1323 at Brighton but his best form is at 7f and Andrew Balding has gone 29 runners without a winner.
Big Lachie is a once-a-year turf winner, who played the bridesmaid with frustrating regularity at this time last year (form figures 22222), unable – or unwilling – to cope with a 5lb rise for scoring at Bath (class 5).
Gold At Midnight is regarded by some elements of the Press as an improver but, in fact, her two out of three in June and July has her back off the same mark she started out on in the Spring. She needs fast ground.
LYTHAM LOOKS LIKELY TO LOVE SOFT
6.50 The Curragh (Phoenix Stakes) I gave you the Heads Up on this one at the start of the week. But today’s Curragh feature, the influential Phoenix Stakes, should have authorities hanging their heads down, in shame.
After holding up fairly well in three of the last four seasons with seven or eight runners, we are back to five for this contest today.
That for a e171,000-to-the-winner two-year-old championship race which has produced such as Caravaggio and Advertise recently.
If only for the punter’s sake, we – in both England and Ireland – should have a system which tempts 80-90-rated unexposed youngsters to ‘have a go’ and compete for prizemoney down further placings to match first prize in any ordinary heat.
I say, if only for punters looking for three chances for the place bet, but owners should have an incentive to take on the might of Ballydoyle (three runners here). The ground could turn soft and then the speed horses don’t have all their own way.
I remember Kevin Prendergast attacking an Aidan O’Brien trio of colts with the filly La Collina (2011) and scoring at 33-1.
O’Brien has won it seven times in the decade and 16 times overall. Last year’s winner, Advertise, who took the Prix Maurice de Gheest under Frankie Dettori on Sunday, was the first English success in the race since 1997.
There are no English raiders today and no fillies. Let’s have some of each next year; make it worth their effort. Let the Phoenix rise from the ashes.
The only one tilting at the Ballydoyle windmill today is Think Big off 89, described by connections as a ‘very, very good horse.’
And at least the top-rated today is not from Ballydoyle. He’s Ger Lyons’ Siskin (110), unbeaten in three starts, including the Marble Hill and the Railway Stakes. Runner-up in both were horses trained Aidan O’Brien.
In the Railway Stakes it was Monarch of Egypt, who reopposes here under Ryan Moore, suggesting he might top the Ballydoyle list, so boosting faith in Siskin.
Mount Fuji (rated 95) certainly seems to have a good 10lb to find, placed only in a Group 3 since winning his maiden. Collateral-form fans will note that he was more than six lengths behind A’Ali in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot on soft ground.
Royal Lytham was fourth (not the best of runs) behind Arizona in the Coventry but his subsequent defeat of Platinum Star in the July Stakes had the gloss taken off it when Platinum Star trailed in 14 lengths behind Pinatubo in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Despite the absence of Arizona here, Aidan O’Brien has a decent tactical trio from which one with stamina could be produced, set up by the two others. Which one is likely to benefit from the rain? Well, the progeny of 8.8 BETDAQ offer Royal Lytham’s sire are 2-2 (100%) on the soft.
In the fillies’ race (6.15), Ger Lyons again has the likely favourite (One Last Look) over Aidan O’Brien (three runners again), who won it with Hydrangea in 2016. My vote goes to Heaven of Heavens (BETDAQ 9.0), who is sister, by Galileo out of a Pivotal mare, to Rhododendron. Pivotals love an easy surface.
AQUARIUM BIG FISH ON EASY GROUND
7.10 Newmarket What will the ground be like at 7 o’clock tonight? Outbox has closed down the prolific King’s Advice from five lengths to the neck that separated them at Goodwood and will be all the rage for this.
If Corelli could bounce back to his close second on the Rowley Mile here to Royal Ascot winner Baghdad, he would be in at the finish, as might Queen’s Vase seventh, Almost Midnight.
But, if rain gets into the surface, Baghdad’s stablemate Aquarium will have a high future rating for this race, despite his current six times out of the frame and with a modest strike rate of 4-29.
Consider only his soft-ground form and you get returns of 3101, yet he was 7.8 in the BETDAQ orange this morning.
⚠️ Watch your bets: Aquarius (8.40 Chelmsford)
CANDY IN THE CHELMSFORD TWILIGHT
8.40 Chelmsford I shall have a small bet on Aquarium in advance of the evening market in case the rain makes a difference. Suddenly the ‘hidden horse’ could be a plunge horse.
I was going to nominate Henry Candy’s Twilighting for ‘hidden’ status. At the evening meetings.
He’s run the requisite three maidens and novices and got this absolute bargain-basement handicap mark, but the Press has noticed and there’s nothing ‘hidden’ about his price!
Working well at home and runs the day after trainer Candy saddled another maiden to go clear at Yarmouth yesterday. Expect a burst of form from Candy now. That’s his style.
3.40 Musselburgh (win 30)
BET 4.5pts win (nap) ULSTER
4.00 Brighton (win 10, win 10 a place)
BET 2pts win and place POUR LA VICTOIRE
6.15 The Curragh (win 10, place 5)
BET 1.25pts win and 3.75pts place HEAVEN OF HEAVENS
6.50 The Curragh (win 20)
BET 2.5pts win ROYAL LYTHAM
7.10 Newmarket (win 20)
BET 3pts win AQUARIUM
8.40 Chelmsford (win 10)
BET 6pts win TWILIGHTING
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