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HORSES-TO-FOLLOW BREAKTHROUGH, SAYS DAQMAN Winners are hard to find at this time of year but, in Daqman’s Early Birds, he has lined up a treble for Friday’s AW Championships at Lingfield Park. There are three other Early Birds running on Thursday and Friday and he sees this week as a potential breakthrough for the horses-to-follow system which built a team of Fortune Cookies worth more than 1,000 points profit last Flat season.

TOMORROW: LOOK OUT AT NEWMARKET: Get ready tomorrow for Daqman’s analysis of the three-day Newmarket Craven meeting.


EARLY BIRDS’ TREBLE CHANCE

CHAMPIONSHIP TRIO:
Amade 2.00 Lingfield (Friday) AW Marathon Championship.
Clon Coulis 2.30 Lingfield (Friday) AW Fillies and Mares Championship.
Wissahickon 4.15 Lingfield (Friday) AW Middle-Distance Championship

NEW TO THE LIST
Dashing Willoughby (Andrew Balding) Led for most of the way at Newbury on Friday until overtaken by King Ottaker; then ran on again and was pulling ground back at the line.

With the Queens Vase (1m 6f in June) his target, this ploy of setting a strong gallop over the shorter trip wasn’t far off the mark in the race and was an excellent opening gambit for his three-year-old career. Looks worthy of his Royal Ascot date at this stage.

Mustashry (Sir Michael Stoute) A top-of-the-ground horse blossoming early this season, and conditions have come right for him this week. Already a Group-2 winner, he will be hard to beat in Thursday’s Earl Of Sefton Stakes (Group 3).

Solage A strong word from Gowran Park via my colleague, Shamrock. He was impressed when Jim Bolger’s Galileo filly Solage went clear to land her maiden.

When I looked her up, I was equally impressed that the Ballylinch Stud had paid 1,000,000 euros for her in the close season on the strength of her second at Longchamp in September.

But we’ll see more when she takes goes for the black type in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas (Saturday, May 11).

ALSO ENGAGED THIS WEEK:
Mustashry 4.10 Newmarket (Thursday)
Global Prospector 1.50 Bath (Friday)
The Maxwecan 2.55 Bath (Friday)


ETAMINE BIG CLASS DROPPER

The weather never ceases to amaze. Firm in the description at Pontefract this afternoon but the card at Tramore has been called off as the track is waterlogged!

I’m calling in at all three remaining meetings on Monday for a bet.

3.10 Hexham It pretty much looks the match that the BETDAQ betting suggests but I prefer the chances of second favourite Etamine Du Cochet trained by Dan Skelton. The stable are knocking in winners for fun at the moment (11 winners from last 49 with a further 14 placed) and Etamine Du Cochet is taking a big drop down in class.

The mare was badly hampered and unseated her rider on the turn for home at Newbury last time out when contesting a Grade 2 event and whilst she looked held at the time this represents a massive drop down the class ladder and frankly I’m surprised she isn’t favourite.

That honour goes to Miss Delighted who was a soft ground winner of a four runner race over a longer trip at Haydock last time out, that was her first career win and am not sure the form is worth that much.

3.50 Pontefract There are long distance handicaps and then there are Pontefract long distance handicaps. 2m 5f 139 yards !

Favourites don’t have a particularly strong record in this race and turning the clock back to 2011 Spruzzo popped up at 100/1 !!

Only six runners this year but no clear favourite. Tynecastle Park is the form horse but all three of his career wins have come at Southwell and he certainly wasn’t stopping when winning over two miles there last time out.

Preference is for the lightly raced Brandy James who ran well enough over hurdles at Newbury last time out and makes his handicap debut on what could be a lenient starting mark.

5.00 Windsor A very tricky finale. I’ll try a WIN 50 and WIN 20 PLACE BET on Vanity Vanity. The booking of Oisin Murphy is eye-catching on the filly who has run well here before and has been running quite well recently on the all-weather.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 points except final selection as instructed)
BET 11.9pts win (nap) ETAMINE DO COCHET (3.10 Hexham)
BET 5.4pts win BRANDY JAMES (3.50 Pontefract)
BET 5.2pts win (WIN 50) and 10.8pts place (WIN 20) VANITY VANITY (5.00 Windsor)



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