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17-5 STRIKE FOR DAQMAN: WHO ELSE KNEW? You could hardly have missed Cairn Gorm (WON 17-5) yesterday after the strong message in Daqman from his ‘man in the long grass’. It was a strong two-year-old test at Deauville, which is usually an omen for the Prix Morny and other top French juvenile races. The colt named after a mountain could be on the way to the top.

HALFWAY HOUSE DAY 1: CHAMPION TRAINERS: Daqman sees the English trainers’ title going the same old same old way, but who are the punters’ champions, the stables that win you money? It’s day one of a series at this halfway stage of the season, looking at trainers, jockeys, Fortune Cookies and the horses of the future.


⚠️ HEADS UP The late start to the season has the time whizzing by quicker than ever. We’re around halfway now, and it’s already the story as before.

John Gosden (£2,053,610 total earnings from 78 winners) is leading Aidan O’Brien (£1,577,281 from just nine winners) in the trainers’ prizemoney list.

Mark Johnston is top trainer numerically (95 scored) but is not top man with the punters (-106 to one-unit level stake). That shout goes to Clive Cox. The top two money-spinners are:

+130.63 Clive Cox
+122.20 William Knight

Tom Clover (+48.99), David O’Meara (+56.78), Charlie Fellows (+38.23) and Charles Hills (+26.36) are also doing well.

Michael Appleby and Richard Fahey are costly to follow with losses of -162 and -141 respectively, Fahey’s poor returns largely due to his having so many runners.

My tip for the second half of the season is Tim Easterby, currently languishing on a poor strike rate of 7% but with plenty of unexposed sorts in the pipeline.

He is particularly good in sprint handicaps and nurseries, and there’s his local big meeting at York on the horizon.

Among Easterby’s winners could be Art Power (Curragh Flying Five), Copper Knight (York), Golden Apollo (Ayr Gold Cup) and Music Society (Ayr Silver Cup).


⭕ 2.00 Yarmouth After bolting home by six lengths at Wolverhampton, the Roger Charlton trained Tamaris would have been a short price for this stayers’ handicap but his absence has opened up the race and given the others a chance.

The new favourite is Saphar Sogood – he’s consistent but his only win from a career CV of 059122-2224 came over a mile on the Fibresand at Southwell. DAQMAN is always wary of any horse that conspires to put together a sequence of five runner-up spots on the spin.

A safer proposition might be Walk It Talk It trained by Chris Wall – whilst the stable hasn’t grabbed any of my headlines above, they are ticking over quite nicely with a level stakes profit of 10 points and an impressive haul of 4 winners from 11 runners over the last 14 days.

Walk It Talk It was only narrowly beaten over two miles at Lingfield last time out and the drop back in trip here could prove ideal. She was previously staying on well over 1m 4f at Newmarket when third to Peace Prevails – so the hybrid trip looks a sensible plan.


⭕ 5.00 Yarmouth Later on at Yarmouth Pretty Pickle looks worthy of the NAP vote for William Haggas and Tom Marquand who rode a winner for me in France yesterday.

Pretty Pickle may have a warning sign next to her name as she has been a beaten favourite in both starts but that is mitigated on three counts:

1️⃣ She clearly is thought something of to have attracted support, especially on debut at Newbury
2️⃣ She improved from first to second start
3️⃣ This is her easiest looking task to date

She is preferred to second favourite Russian Virtue who showed plenty of pace at Newmarket last time out but seemed to struggle to get home and may need a stop back in trip. Although this is an easier task for him and his stable are in good form.


⭕ 5.15 Haydock The race has cut up badly with four non runners at the time of writing.

Assuming there are no more absentees, Songkran might represent a spot of value against the now odds-on Dreamweaver.

Songkran bids for a four-timer and, if anything, this slightly longer trip should suit him better.

Dreamweaver’s chance is obvious after a decisive course win last time out but is priced accordingly and the handicapper has had his say with a 6lb hike.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 10 points)
BET 3.2pts win WALK IT TALK IT (2.00 Yarmouth)
BET 5.7pts win (nap) PRETTY PICKLE (5.00 Yarmouth)
BET 5.0pts win SONGKRAN (5.15 Haydock)

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