SMALL FIELDS FOR TOP CHELTENHAM EVENTS: First shock of the Cheltenham Festival came two days before the meeting, when yesterday’s declarations saw the usual cavalry charge for the opening Supreme Novices Hurdle reduced to a mere nine runners, with only seven left in the NH Challenge Cup. Says Daqman: ‘Last year’s Arkle of just five runners was seen as a blip, but a developing trend seems to knock on the head any idea of a five-day meeting.’

⭕ CHAMPION HURDLE declared: Adagio, Appreciate It, Epatante, Glory And Fortune, Honeysuckle, Not So Sleepy, Saint Roi, Teahupoo, Tommy’s Oscar, Zanahiyr.

TODAY: How to boost your festival winnings. TOMORROW: First-day Daqman selections


FIRST DAY TOMORROW: I’ll give you a race-by-race check on all routes to winner-finding: Stats reprise, Ratings, Fortune Cookies, Form, Ante-Post value and Lays Logic. Don’t forget: CHELTENHAM 50% COMMISSION ON BETDAQ

LAYS LOGIC Trying to return to the days of 16 successful Daqman lays in a row at Cheltenham. Daqman faces the challenge: which favourites to oppose when we’re already restricted by small fields.

We will just have to be more selective than ever, as in the current 70% strike rate for losers that became winners for us when we laid them.

Current score: 7-10.

VALUE CHALLENGE: The same goes for value hunting. Daqman and Pricewise (Racing Post), both, will be looking for ‘hidden’ or less exposed horses, but they are not easily buried when runners are reduced.

Current score: Daqman 33, Pricewise 21. That’s very similar to last year when it was Daqman 28, Pricewise 17 at this time, when Daqman took his profits to 639.93.

STAKING PLANS: The Daqman way is to increase stakes by relating the odds to the chances of success. So you will see tips staked to various targets: to win 10 points, 20, 30 or 50.

BOOST THE VALUE: Join the professionals with this money-making trick: decide on the price you want for each horse in a race. Imagine you are shopping (you are!)

You are ready to ‘buy’ at 4.0, 7.0, 9.0, 11.0, 13.0, the front five horses in the race by your reckoning, but the offers are 3.0, 11.0, 6.0, 11.0, 13.0.

You want to pounce on your 7.0 shot because it’s 11.0; you think he’s ‘too big’, four points bigger than your estimation.

If you are betting to win 30 points, you need a stake of 3pts at the 11.0, whereas you would have needed 5pts at the 6-1 you estimated, so you are lucky to get away with staking three instead of five, right? Wrong.

Stick to your opinion and make more money by investing your ORIGINAL stake of five points at the improved offers of 11.0. Now you’ll get a return (winnings + stake) of 5 x 10 + 5 = 55 instead of 3 x 10 = 30 + 3 = 33).

DON’T CHASE YOUR LOSSES: Keep within your staking guidelines and the value offers as you see them. Losing? Then stop. Winning? Then don’t give it all away.

Something goes wrong like yours falls at the last when in the lead? It happens to the best and it happens to the rest.

You are not phased because you have your staking plan. You know it’s not the winners you miss but the winners you back that count.


⭕ 2.20 Stratford There are two reasons for not getting involved today. The obvious one is it’s the calm before the Cheltenham storm, but just as importantly there are very few betting opportunities across the three afternoon jumps cards.

This Monday card at Stratford usually attracts a higher than average crowd from those that believe the Cheltenham Festival is already a five-day affair and they might do worse than follow Fleurman in the juvenile hurdle.

The penny really seemed to drop for this one last time out at Market Rasen when he won with plenty in hand – scoring by an unextended seven and a half lengths.

On just a reading of the form book he should win this. If you build in further likely improvement then he should win it comfortably.

Main danger on the BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE is Interne De Sivola who doesn’t seem to have built upon his Cheltenham win at the December meeting. He was well beaten subsequently on Trials Day back at Cheltenham when last of seven finishers having run too freely. He was then beaten in much lower company at Fontwell last time out but looked unlucky having made a huge blunder two out when going well.

Silver Shade went on to win that Fontwell race by a length and a half but I think there is every chance that Interne De Sivola will turn that form around and he looks the danger.


⭕ 6.30 Wolverhampton We all need a ‘Godsend’ at the start of Cheltenham week so who better to rely on for Monday’s NAP than the John & Thady Gosden trained Eternal Summer?

He made a really pleasing debut over course and distance in December when recovering from a slow start to finish a neck second to the odds on favourite Nankeen. It wouldn’t have been the best race ever, but then again neither is this.

He surely should have too much scope for the rather exposed Flatley who is now 0-9 and Alazwar who bizarrely finished behind our Stratford pick Fleurman in a maiden hurdle and is now trying the flat for the first time. The trip might prove too short and trainer Archie Watson’s strike-rate has just dipped recently.


⭕ 7.00 Wolverhampton There are question marks over the market leaders here. Catbird Seat (distance) and Smart Boyo (up in weights despite being beaten last time out).

Floating Rock relished this trip at Newcastle last October and will probably fare better than he did here last time out when fourth over 1m 4f. He only started to get going towards the end of that race.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 10 points):
BET 5.0pts win FLEURMAN (2.20 Stratford)
BET 5.8pts win (nap) ETERNAL SUMMER (6.30 Wolverhampton)
BET 2.5pts win FLOATING ROCK (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.