BANKER BET IN THE CUP: It’s Doncaster Cup day and Daqman, who tipped Alanza (WON 11-4) yesterday, has a banker bet. He also has one in the Mallard, whose Betdaq offers this morning were ‘a steal’.
IT’S THE LEGER TOMORROW: Don’t miss Daqman’s Saturday jackpot bets and final verdict on the St Leger tomorrow.
1.25 Doncaster (Flying Childers): Punters usually get this one right, with eight out of 10 of those successful starting at 9-2 or less.
Winners last time out at a top track or Group-placed animals score every time, which eliminates only On The Dark Side, who is not so dark, being more exposed than most, and Miss Lahar, a front-runner who was behind Kohala at Newbury.
So what’s the punters’ verdict? They string along with Requinto at 4.7 favourite as I write, but have four others between 6.0 and 6.4. They know that rain would dampen Requinto’s chance, witness the Nunthorpe disappointment after his Molecomb win over Burwaaz.
Burwaaz stayed on well enough that day so was moved up to 6f in the Gimcrack but the tactics were changed and he failed to make all, third, a head behind the Railway Stakes winner Lilbourne Lad.
My Propeller also won at York, beating Vocational further than Requinto did at Goodwood. But both My Propeller and Vocational have ground to make up on Caledonia Lady (holds Angels Will Fall).
It’s one of those form roundabouts where your horse goes up and then down until you feel queasy and wish you hadn’t paid for the ride.
1.55 Doncaster: It’s neck and neck – five winners each – between three-year-olds and older horses in the last decade, with no winner shorter than 10-1 since the last favourite obliged in 2007.
There’s something strange about the Bourne identity: we know Luca Cumani is a wily old Milanese but is he seriously telling us that the grey’s campaign has all along – for four years – intended to culminate in Mallard or Ebor (‘I nearly ran him in that’)? He’s never won beyond 10 furlongs, and the best he’s done over 12 is to run up to the aged Halicarnassus.
Let’s check out the opposition: Harlestone Times, disappointing; Hawk Mountain, well exposed up to class-3 level; Itlaaq, ditto, and needs rain; Nanton, has never won this high in the ratings and now he’s nine; the Johnston pair, Eternal Heart and Shernando, have both been well beaten by Tominator. Old Hundred has failed to raise his game above class 4.
That leaves Tominator, Theology.. and Bourne! You quickly appreciate Bourne’s position, getting weight from both, with Tominator 10lb higher than his winning mark and with Theology only ever having won his maiden.
But there was a huge price this morning about Doncaster specialist Precision Break, who tackled Pattern company twice last year, and is seemingly laid out for this, with a look-see comeback behind Tominator, Theology and Eternal Heart at Chester. The 8.8 I took was a steal. Each way.
2.25 (Doncaster Cup): Great winners – Sergeant Cecil and Persian Punch – have meant short prices, with one exception, in the last 10 years.
And this morning, early doors, Betdaq traders cast their votes to a man for Opinion Poll, forcing him in to 2.8, with 6.0 bar.
It may all change during the day, so the obvious thing was to get some 6.0 or more about something, this morning as a first position.
But it was hard to see Bergo, Blue Bajan, Motrice or Tastahil turning round the Cup form of York and Goodwood, and Dayia needs rain.
So any bet in opposition to Opinion Poll has to rely on either Saddler’s Rock (6.6) or Tactician (7.4) raising their game, now tried at this 2m 2f.
There’s nothing in Saddler’s Rock’s breeding to suggest success over a trip of this nature but John Oxx’s first runner in Britain this year, Alanza, got me off to a flyer yesterday, stamping himself on the race with a casual improvement which an Oxx can often do.
The trainer won this race with Enzeli in 2000 but that was a different animal: he had already run in two Gold Cups.
Tactician, seen several times setting the pace or in the van, will have to settle today but he may have won the Ebor had his saddle not slipped and was the ‘moral’, giving 4lb to the winner and beaten a length.
But, rather like the Bourne situation, you are asking him to win by default, and –unless he’s out of form on the day – there seems no fault in Opinion Poll. At the odds, he’ll have to be a banker.
3.00 Doncaster (May Hill Stakes): Again, it’s rare to have a big-odds winner and again you need to look for Group performers or winners last time out.
Regal Realm is the Group winner. Her price will close down if the filly that beat her in the Princess Margaret Stakes – Angels Will Fall – has won or gone close in the Flying Childers.
Several good judges were at headquarters when Fallen For You won on the debut and have talked about her ever since. John Gosden is looking for his fifth winner in the race and my man in the long grass says the one they’re worried about is the similarly once-raced Lyric Of Light on the grounds of ‘could be anything.’
As ever, Godolphin’s are easy to back, and Lyric Of Light’s 9.8 this morning allowed me to go in head down on Fallen For You, with a small stakes saver on Lyric Of Light that shaves off only about 10% of my potential profit.
BET 2.5pts win and place PRECISION BREAK (1.55 Doncaster)
BANKER 20pts win OPINION POLL (2.25 Doncaster)
BET 11pts win FALLEN FOR YOU and 1.3pts win (stakes saver) LYRIC OF LIGHT (3.00 Doncaster).