VERDICT ON THE ‘WONDER’ OAKS: Oaks Day dawns with good news for Carlton House fans who took Daqman’s Derby advice to accept Betdaq offers while the royal runner has been easy to back. Now read his verdict for the ‘wonder’ Oaks.
‘HERO’ DAQMAN IN FORM FOR THE CLASSICS: Daqman’s bet on I Need A Hero (WON 100-30) last night put him in profit for the day, after his selections on Wednesday all finished in the frame (including 2nd 11-1 and 3rd 10-1) and his Tuesday lays both won.
THREE LAYS UP IN A ROW: That made it three consecutive lays up: Toucan Tango (2nd 3-1), Acclamatory (unplaced 8-1) and Cara Carmela (unplaced 10-1.
JACKPOTS WINS AT 5-1 AND 7-1: His last Classic jackpot bet was Misty For Me (WON 5-1) in the 1,000 Guineas on the same day as Sole Power (WON 7-1).
Before your very eyes! As catchphrases go, that’s an old one but it’s the one you want as a betting man: I believe you have almost certainly seen two trial performances which contain the Oaks winner this afternoon. So convinced am I that I will bet both, which is an overall investment at a short price.
One of a hot pair should also take the Coronation Cup and the opening Princess Elizabeth Stakes but, at the offers available, I’m taking Betdaq value, since the unexpected so often happens at Epsom. But I will cover myself with Daq Multiples on the obvious outcomes.
1.40 Epsom (Princess Elizabeth Stakes) Three-year-olds have made no impression on this race for nine years now and a five-year-old has won only once this century.
These stats suggest that last year’s winner, Antara, may now have to give way to the younger filly, Timepiece. Both are Group placed already but I’m taking a chance on the Motivator grey, Clinical.
Sir Mark Prescott will have committed a rare howler if he has mistakenly entered up Clinical in all the top Group races at 1 and 2 level: Ribblesdale, Coronation Cup, Pretty Polly et al. So she must clinically dispose of these Group-3 animals this afternoon.
At 12.0 in a field reduced to eight, as I write, she currently shows place odds – with three chances – better than the win odds (one chance) for Antara and Timepiece, which I can’t split.
2.10 Epsom Tartan Gigha goes for the hat-trick and older horses do win this. Spirit Of Sharjah, Wannabe King, Kajima and Space Station also like Epsom, though some of these – as admitted by trainer Hannon about Kajima – are looking further ahead than today, at the Royal Hunt Cup, and may need this.
It’s a race you can discuss for an hour and still not know the winner in the raveled form. That suggests they are much of a muchness so, again, something unexposed could emerge from the pack.
That would have to be Sowaylm (24.0 this morning) under a jockey whose best talents emerge at Epsom and Ascot, where positioning and pace are important, as opposed to hold-up and drive.
2.45 Epsom (Coronation Cup) The reignited St Nicholas Abbey faces his biggest test yet against the Midday, winner of five Group 1s. But those lumping on Midday, be warned that she hasn’t met horse or colt since her three-year-old days. She’s the lady declared for the men’s singles; she’s the girl fighter in the ring with a heavyweight who so often disappoints but can land a haymaker – Racing Post Trophy, Ormonde Stakes – which has his rivals on the floor.
And, as the big two watch each other, Dandino could land a sucker punch. He improved 36lb last season and five weeks ago took the Jockey Club Stakes, a race which has launched Millenary, Sixties Icon and Marienbard – to name but a few as they say – on their year of years.
3.25 Epsom It’s Resurge if you want course form (12120), Prompter on trainer recommendation and Dhaamer to take out of the race for John Gosden.
Gosden has become the Press’s track inspector after his Lincoln-day attack on Doncaster, so we were all ears to hear him say this morning what a good job Epsom has done with the track: good news, indeed, and also a pointer to his feelings about Dhaamer’s chances here.
4.05 Epsom (the Oaks) The Cheshire Oaks and the 1,000 Guineas were both won by horses of which you could say: the further they went, the further they were going to win.
Aidan O’Brien deliberately chose Tipperary and then Chester to see how Wonder Of Wonders performed on the bends and to get her used to them.
As the daughter of an Oaks runner-up who was sister to Galileo and half-sister to Sea The Stars, ‘Wonder’ is impeccably bred and has a hungry man in the saddle, fired further by his Derby problems.
She wasn’t impressive in the Cheshire Oaks but she was the executioner. She had to dispose of a strong pace set by Blaise Chorus with Michael Hills then trying to kid his field with a slow-slow-quick-quick-go pause for a breather and then dash for the line five lengths clear in the straight. But Wonder Of Wonder had the answer and simply did the business, professionally, going right away.
Her main danger in this spectacular Oaks, Blue Bunting, was ‘expected’ today but not in the 1,000 Guineas. In fact, two furlongs out at Newmarket as she struggled to go the pace, she looked what they said she was, an Oaks filly.
But, once stamina came into play, Blue Bunting took off and left them for dead inside the final furlong. Bred for 2m and more, yet showing that burst to get on top over a mile in Classic company, makes it very hard to fault her chance today.
The Curragh Guineas one-two, Misty For Me (11th) and Together (2nd), were behind her, and a bigger threat this afternoon may come from Havant, who was allowed to come home sixth at a steady pace and whose trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, out of form then, is capable of pulling the rabbit from the hat.
As discussed in my ABC Guide yesterday, Zain Al Boldan is another on the upgrade, and my order in would have to be Wonder Of Wonders, Blue Bunting, Havant and Zain Al Boldan.
BET 1.8pts win and place CLINICAL (1.40 Epsom)
BET 0.8pts win and place SOWAYLM (2.10 Epsom)
BET 1.7pts win DANDINO (2.45 Epsom)
BET 4pts win DHAAMER (3.25 Epsom)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 12pts win BLUE BUNTING and 8pts win WONDER OF WONDERS (4.05 Epsom)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 4 x 2pt win doubles ANTARA and TIMEPIECE with MIDDAY and ST NICHOLAS ABBEY (2.45 Epsom)