DAQMAN’S ROCKING AT YORK WITH A 6.4 NAP: Daqman reckons it’s worth following trainer Luca Cumani at York today, with Rockalong, his nap, taken at 6.4, and Elhaame, both ridden by Adam Kirby.
LOOK OUT ON CESAREWITCH DAY TOMORROW: Tomorrow, Cesarewitch day, Daqman bids for a four-timer of weekend big-race winners after 20-1, 8-1 and 4.8-1 winners in the Ayr Gold Cup, Cambridgeshire and Arc.
2.00 York There’s pace on both low and high, and whether they split or come down the middle as usual will help decide the next race as well.
Local trainer Tim Easterby, who has had a great year with his handicappers, will be delighted to get The Hooded Claw (stall 9) in this off only 77 (11lb ahead of the handicapper), with his rise after the Listed Two-Year-old Trophy run at Redcar six days ago not applicable until tomorrow.
Nor is the grey Kickboxer’s 16lb hit for his Cornwallis third on the same day, yet I could get 9.4 The Hooded Claw and 8.8 Kickboxer (stall 18) on BETDAQ this morning.
Ahead of them in the market were Musical Comedy, who should just about dead-heat with Kickboxer on their Haydock form last month, and Makin The Rules who finished seven lengths clear of Kickboxer on the soft at Ayr.
Iftaar (stall 14), who is by a champion two-year-old, was highly regarded in the Spring but had muscle problems. Showed up well on his return, and I nibbled at 13.0 this morning. Paul Hanagan has ridden only two horses for Charles Hills in the last fortnight. Both won.
2.30 York Young sprinters win this (7 out of 9), like Imperial Legend and Kyleakin Lass, for which Tom Queally and Richard Hughes have been booked.
Dungannon and Lady Gibraltar are closely matched on Ascot form but the going was changed to good to soft this morning, which doesn’t suit Lady Gibraltar.
The rain helps Kyleakin Lass and her old adversary Pearl Blue, winner of this race last year, but yet to win off so high a mark as today’s. Above Standard is also a course and distance winner but may need the going on top.
In the end I couldn’t see where the improvement would come from, so thought I’d stick with Dungannon in the hope that he can hold his form.
3.05 York We’ve had the bends this week: the severe right-hand kinks of Longchamp and Kempton Park. Now we go left-handed round the York hairpin, low numbers keen to get an early position and hug the rails.
But – same old, same old – can something with stamina, waited with, sweep down the outside? Or, in fact, is the best ground down the middle?
Graphic, fourth in the Cambridgeshire, was always going to be favourite, but his high stall (16) is worrying for one who likes to be up with the pace.
Jack’s Revenge was disappointing that day and still looks high in the handicap, while last year’s winner, No Poppy, has struggled all season, even when dropped much lower than today’s mark.
One of my horses to follow, Rockalong, was the ‘moral’, giving 8lb to the half-length winner at Newmarket last time, and wasn’t worried by soft ground on today’s course before that, though did baulk at the extra distance of 1m 2f plus. I took 8.4 on BETDAQ for this return to a mile.
4.15 York Van Percy had a horrible time, hampered and snatched up at Newmarket. Oisin Murphy keeps the mount and he’s getting plenty of weight from his elders. You just worry at the 6.4 this morning that he’s such a hard ride.
After Rockalong, there’s another lightly raced Luca Cumani here with a big chance, 8.6-offered Elhaame, like Van Percy a three-year-old with potentially more to offer.
Chancery, a winner over CD in August on good to soft, has to improve to fend off the better treated placed horses, Rio’s Rosanna and Kiama Bay, on whom Ryan Moore takes over. The signs are that the ground is now against Continuum.
It’s a race with that autumn look of jaded horses, and you’d expect lightly raced sorts like Lahaag and Martin Chuzzlewhit to take advantage but it’s hard to know what to make of them.
DAQMAN’S BETS (each bet staked to win 20 points)
BET 2.3pts win THE HOODED CLAW and 1.6pts win IFTAAR (2.00 York)
BET 3.8pts win DUNGANNON (2.30 York)
BET 2.7pts (nap) win ROCKALONG (3.05 York)
BET 3.8pts win VAN PERCY and 2.6pts win ELHAAME (4.15 York)
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