DAQMAN 18-12 CLEAR OF PRICEWISE: Ginto (won 9-4) yesterday sent Daqman 18-12 clear of Pricewise of the Racing Post in feature races this season, with just short of 100 points profit. More bets in the value challenge on Saturday.

FORTUNE COOKIES: Today’s the day to check out the form of the New Year weekend in ‘See How They Ran’, followed up tomorrow with the revised Fortune Cookies list.


⚠️ HEADS UP For a third week running, Daqman presents See How They Ran, a weekend wrap in which he marks your card about horses to put in the notebook, for good reasons or for Lays Logic. This week it’s a tale of two mares.

Most impressive winner. More smart novices have emerged but one beaten in her Listed novice start to the season in November, has now won two handicaps in quick succession.

Vienna Court was allowed to start 10-1 SP (12.0 taken in this column on BETDAQ) at Cheltenham at the weekend because she had won a mares-only class-3 in December.

And her task on day one of the new year was to make a triple jump three rungs up the ladder into open company over the same CD but in Grade 3 with the ground changed to soft.

No problem. Her rider had hardly moved on her going to the last where she took control, with the first two running 10 lengths clear.

Her race and L’Homme Presse’s win in the Dipper Novices Chase, the previous race on the card, were both faster than anything on the card.

But trainer Venetia Williams was not overly impressed: ‘he’s improved a bit,’ she said, clearly aware that 2m 4f is limiting and they all go for the same prize. So my ‘faster than most’ tag is pinned on Mount Ida.

Faster than most. Mount Ida, ‘my National horse’ (quote unquote Gordon Elliott), has now set him a problem many a trainer would wish to have.

She won the John Fowler at Fairyhouse on the first day of the year in easily the fastest time of the day, ‘just doing enough’ to beat the favourite, Elimay, half a length. That one-two is significant.

At Fairyhouse over a similar distance in the spring of last year, Mount Ida was beaten two-and-a-half lengths by an odds-on Elimay, who was giving Ida 6lb.

On Saturday, it was Mount Ida giving weight away (3lb in fact) to Elimay but turning round the form, ‘always doing enough’. So what’s the problem?

Elliott is now obliged to say: ‘She has just kept on progressing and we’ll have to look at the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham for her after that.’

The eight-year-old Kim Muir winner has now won Graded chases and major handicaps from 2m to 3m 2f and, despite the form book being there for all to see, she is still not an open and shut case, still demands that epithet ‘could be anything.’

Most trainers would blanch at preparing a horse for two-and-a-half miles at Cheltenham and four and a half at Aintree. What will Elliott do? Which way will he go?

Again, most trainers would say ‘I’ll let the horse tell me,’ but this Yeats mare keeps on telling us of hidden reserves of speed, courage and stamina that tear up the form-book.

In the Kim Muir (3m 2f), she was stone last at the sixth fence, made only steady headway from the 16th and was laid at 999-1 before doing the ‘impossible’ and actually going clear on the run-in.

The Raceform race-reader called it ‘one that will go down in Cheltenham folklore’. But I think the law according to Mount Ida has just begun to be written.

Tomorrow: Fortune Cookies


⭕ 2.50 Southwell The afternoon jumping action looks tricky. A combination of short priced favourites that simply look TOO short and low grade handicaps.

The exception might be Colonel Manderson here for the Skeltons. The switch back to hurdles seemed to suit him last time out at Taunton where he chased home Kendelu to be beaten just three quarters of a length. The handicapper has had his say but there’s every chance he could still be ahead of his hurdles mark.

It doesn’t look the strongest race. Getthepoint has two recent moderate efforts at Wetherby to his name leaving On Springs as the biggest danger after his creditable fourth. Ben Pauling’s runners are going well (3 wins from last 15 runners).


⭕ 5.00 Wolverhampton The new training axis of Charlie and Mark Johnston got underway at Newcastle yesterday. It should be business as normal for the Middleham team but they may fall short here with Achnamara whose form in maidens was quite modest and he now starts life in handicap company off a mark of 75.

That looks high enough, given he is rated the same as Night Glass whose form looks a lot more solid. The Marco Botti trained runner chased home Park Street at Kempton last time out. He was staying on to good effect that day behind the John Gosden trained winner and should appreciate the extra furlong. Botti is two winners from his last eight runners.

The quartet is complete by State Legend (4th and 3rd here) and Sir Mark Prescott’s
filly Themoonsaballoon (no early support on BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE) who both start life in handicap company.


⭕ 7.00 Wolverhampton The good news is that Kenstone is a previous course and distance winner. The bad news is that win came back in 2016!

However there are signs that the now nine-year-old can take advantage of his slipping handicap mark. Certainly a reproduction of his latest effort here in December when fourth to Ring Of Gold might be good enough. He met trouble in running a furlong out but still showed some zest in fighting back. The handicapper has been kind in dropping him a further pound for that run.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 10 points)
BET 3.5pts win COLONEL MANDERSON (2.50 Southwell)
BET 10.0pts win (nap) NIGHT GLASS (5.00 Wolverhampton)
BET 2.7pts win KENSTONE (7.00 Wolverhampton)

What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….

Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.