BACK-TO-BACK BEST BETS AT THE DUBLIN FESTIVAL: Arise Sir Daqman! The BETDAQ naps ace yesterday made it two from two at the Dublin Festival, when he followed his Saturday supernap with a potential Triumph Hurdle star yesterday:

WON 13-8 SIR EREC (Sunday nap)
WON 11-10 LE RICHEBOURG (Saturday supernap)

DREAM DOUBLE SO HE’S 23-14 AHEAD OF PRICEWISE: He also picked Klassical Dream (WON 9-4) at the Leopardstown meeting yesterday for two more against Pricewise, taking their scores to 23-14. Here’s his current record:

Dublin Festival naps + 42.00
Daqman 23, Pricewise 14
Fortune Cookies +507.42

LEOPARDSTOWN WRAP: Daqman’s verdict on the star potential of the 2019 Dublin Festival sees the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham brewing up a storm of talent.

Taunton passed an inspection this morning but races in mud, so Daqman picks the best race there and two events on the AW.


Will there be a great eight again? Not this time. I doubt that many winners from the weekend Dublin Festival will also win at Cheltenham as happened last year.

Some fields weren’t as strong as for the inaugural meeting and some of them, particularly on the second day, were reduced because of the firmish ground on the chase course.

You’re betting on the going being similar in March if you back any of the winners to do the festivals double. You might have a terrific trio worth the risk, but not a great eight:

APPLE’S JADE If connections stick to their first thought, and ignore the Matt Chapman schtick, the Mares Hurdle not the Champion, is theirs for the taking. But Saturday gave them second thoughts!

Apple’s Jade has now beaten Supasundae 20 lengths in the Hattons Grace (2m 4f) and 16 lengths in the Irish Champion Hurdle (2m), shrugging off any difference in distance.

And, though he warned that no decision will be made until Cheltenham week, Gigginstown owner Michael O’Leary says it is now ‘75-25’ that Apple’s Jade will run in the Champion Hurdle.

But this came on top of a similar ‘decision’ by Laurina’s connections that she is likely to take on Buveur d’Air in the Champion with a longer-trip prep first, the (Listed) Coral Quevega Hurdle at Punchestown on February 20.

If all three of Apple’s Jade, Buveur d’Air and Laurina were to run in the Cheltenham championship, that old Press phrase ‘race of the century’ would have to come out of mothballs.

LE RICHEBOURG Arkle favourite for Cheltenham now after extending his Boxing Day supremacy over Us And Them between Christmas and the Irish Arkle. Has that jumping rhythm essential for Cheltenham.

SIR EREC Favourite for the Triumph Hurdle after yesterday’s victory in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, he’s a rare performer.

Contender on the Flat and over Jumps, having finished third to Stradivarius in the stayers championship at Ascot, connections keep their options open, with the ching-ching of the stud books in their ears. Erec remains an entire.


2.00 Chelmsford Christine Dunnett’s horses are doing as well as they can, though her three runners in the last fortnight have all been out of the frame.

The Racing Post assesses her as getting 100% out of them. The same applies to Harriet Bethell, who is 100% anyway as 1-1 in the two weeks; one runner, one winner.

Hidden Dream (for Dunnett at 5.7 on BETDAQ this morning) and Steel Helmet (for Bethell at 11.0) also hold the distinction of having won a race – market leaders Don’t Do It and Affluence are maidens – both as CD winners, both appearing here after prep runs on the course. I think we’ll back both!


4.15 Taunton A puzzling class-3 handicap chase, with Touch Kick back down to the level, only 2lb higher than he won off at Hereford in November.

And, while he’s down in the ratings, the last-time winners, Uhlan Bute and Diplomate Sivola are heavily penalised. Both romped home last time but his Plumpton win puts Uhlan Bute back on a mark from which he’s always struggled.

With Philip Hobbs back in form, Diplomate Sivola seemingly needs no improvement on his 12-lengths stroll at Lingfield but the horses he beat were class-4 animals. He has been hiked nearly a stone and has poor form in the mud.

Silverhow has had wind surgery after two modest efforts this term. Ended last season, and his novice career, on a high at Sandown last Spring. Stablemate Bramble Brook has also been below par.

Le Boizelo won in novice company, and that was more than a year ago, but we know he is best in testing ground.

Easy Street’s best form is on a sound surface. Vice Et Vertu was a well-held third in this race last year and is best fresh.


5.55 Wolverhampton We’ve got races right down to class 7 today but here is standout class 2, featuring a clash of England’s top jockeys.

When Oisin Murphy returned on February 1, he was beaten in a Lingfield one-two by Ryan Moore. Now here he is on Silver Quartz (BETDAQ 8.6) against Moore’s only ride of the evening, Oh This Is Us (3.3). I reckon it’s another one-two.

Though Oh This Is Us was placed in two Group-2 races in the autumn, the entire is only 3lb higher than when scoring at Chester in the late summer.

Arcanada won this race from the front last year when there were just three runners. Hathal won a class 2 at Wolver a month ago, with another front-runner Michele Strogoff in third.

I reckon Arcanada and Michele Strogoff can set this up for Oh This Is Us, and the one I’m most worried about is Silver Quartz, two and more years the youngster of the field.

Silver Quartz, who won a class 2 at Ascot in September, has been gelded since fifth of 14 on the Deauville Polytrack 50 days ago (just behind Hathal).


2.00 Chelmsford (win 20)

4.15 Taunton (win 20)
BET 7pts win (nap) TOUCH KICK

5.55 Wolverhampton (win 10, win 20)
BET 4.3pts win OH THIS IS US

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