DAQMAN’S 7-2 CROSS-COUNTRY CRAIC: Daqman hit home two out of three bets at Punchestown yesterday, including the 7-2 cross-country scorer, but suffered yet again in the main event of the day. After Saturday’s big-race second with Bleu Et Rouge (2ND 10-1), he was third in the Punchestown Grand National Trial via Baie Des Iles (3RD 12-1)

WON 7-2 (win 20) AUVERGNAT
3RD 12-1 (win 50): BAIE DES ILES

IT’S THE WEEK OF BIG AINTREE TESTS: One trial yesterday and another big one on Saturday, but will they help you pick the Grand National winners at Liverpool or Fairyhouse?

WOLVERHAMPTON NAP: DAQMAN starts the week with a NAP at Wolverhampton and bets at Catterick and Plumpton.


Fancy Folsom Blue for the National? After his courageous win at Punchestown in yesterday’s trial, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s just a question of Fairyhouse or Aintree?

Think again! The last decade of winners of the Punchestown race have had just one runner at Aintree: ninth.

And the four winners in the same period who have gone on to contest the Fairyhouse Irish National have finished: fifth, 17th and pulled up twice.

Never mind, eh! There’s always Saturday’s Haydock Park Grand National Trial. You think?

Winners of that often become well backed for Aintree but, also from returns of the last decade, I can tell you that five went on to Liverpool. The results were 6th, 12th, PU, UR (as favourite) and PU again.

In fact, these ‘trials’ should be treated as races in their own right which rarely have much to do with the finish of a Grand National.

When I’ve tipped (the winner) in Saturday’s race, and the result is known, I’ll check out past results of the Aintree marathon and tell you where you should really be looking.

Then this See How They Won check on big-race winners has an even bigger job to do: to go through the Cheltenham Festival results and see how the winners won there.


Two inspections needed at Catterick but racing does go ahead in North Yorkshire joining Plumpton and Wolverhampton.

I’ve one bet from each venue on Monday and the race times are getting later – is Spring finally sprung?

The opener at Catterick has cut up to just three runners (effective match) continuing the rather depressing recent pattern of midweek jumps racing and small fields (there’s also a three runner race at Plumpton today).

3.05 Catterick Red Infantry is up 6lb for his Doncaster win but looked to be revitalised with the first time visor on and should be able to follow up over this longer trip. He was staying on really strongly and should have no difficulty with today’s extra furlong.

Sharp Response is running consistently but was no match for Bordeaux Bill (another three runner race) at Wetherby last time out and previously finished third at Carlisle. The handicapper may just need to give him some respite in order for him to resume winning ways.

Golden Investment ran well over course and distance in December but subsequently unseated rider in the North Yorkshire Grand National here and is another who may need some help from the handicapper.

4.20 Plumpton Stamina very much the key here over the 3m 217y trip on forecast heavy ground.

Hat-trick seeking Cheque En Blanc is up another 4lb which may halt his progress.

Sandhurst Lad was a creditable course and distance second last time out on soft ground (but heavy in places) but is up 2lb for that effort.

I’ll take a chance with Somerset Jem who has been knocking on the door and ran well at Taunton last time out to finish a half length second. He has winning form in heavy ground and plenty of stamina to boot.

6.10 Wolverhampton A trappy card at Dunstall Park with seven handicaps and a long odds-on shot in the opening novice stakes.

There could be one handicap blot though in Star Archer in the 6.10pm. The Hugo Palmer trained runner reappeared after a year off to win over C&D last month and whilst the winning margin was only three quarters of a length the pair finished eight lengths clear and Star Archer remains very unexposed and potentially could be very well in here off a mark of 90.

DAQMAN’S BETS (all staked to win 20)
BET 8.3pts win RED INFANTRY (3.05 Catterick)
BET 4.7pts win SOMERSET JEM (4.20 Plumpton)
BET 11.9pts win (nap) STAR ARCHER (6.10 Wolverhampton)

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