MILLION-POUND BIG RACE SATURDAY! Ten top-class races at Ascot, Chester, Newmarket and York add up to £1million in prizemoney today. Daqman previews them all.
A STRING OF TOP OFFERS ON BETDAQ: Just look at these offers on Betdaq, as Daqman tips horses at 31.0, 23.0, 21.0, 18.0, 17.5, 14.5 and 12.0. To name but a few, as they say!
2.05 York: Low numbers are usually best and the evidence for high in the boys’ race yesterday may be misleading, particularly with Golden Destiny, Hamish McGonagall and Fitz Flyer on the same side.
Group Therapy has won four times over the trip and got within half a length of the now-deteriorating Borderlescott last summer but the pair of them were well in arrear of Rain Delayed at Newmarket in the Spring.
Ryan Moore switches from Group Therapy to the long-time bridesmaid Rain Delayed, who could turn a corner for his new yard: 14.5 on Betdaq gives you a chance.
2.20 Newmarket (Superlative Stakes): Low numbers should have the edge and the last six winners had all been in the frame at the major venues of Ascot, Newmarket and The Curragh. Fort Bastion fits both stats, and Olivier Peslier is over here for this Royal Ascot runner-up.
2.30 Ascot High numbers dominated the 6f race here yesterday and, with Andrew Balding and more particularly jockey David Probert in form, the improver Dungannon was excellent value at 12.0 on Betdaq this morning.
2.40 York (Silver Cup): No winners over the age of five; none with more than 9st 8lb. The only three-year-old winner was trained by Mark Johnston, who saddles the sole second-season animal today, Eternal Heart.
I’ve also left the Fahey horses out; he’s needed 72 runners to get half a dozen winners in the last fortnight. You can’t ignore an Easterby contender, but Deauville Flyer is thrown out wide in stall 20.
Despite the 14-furlong trip, a low draw is an advantage, as the Ebor bears witness: it had me choosing between Tactician and Total Command, and I was staggered by the 21.0 being offered about Total Command, a Group player last season.
2.55 Newmarket (Bunbury Cup): Four-year-olds have the edge but older horses often win it. There were years of double-figure odds before the favourite won last season.
A top jockey is essential, with winners in the last decade ridden by Dettori, Fallon, Holland, Kinane, Moore and Robinson but Dettori will do a flying dismount if he can get back-to-back wins out of Manassas, who hadn’t won for nearly two years before getting a good draw in the Buckingham Palace, and is now worse off with Excellent Guest and Striking Spirit.
There’s that man Easterby again but Striking Spirit is in stall one and the high numbers, which held sway yesterday, will get a good tow from King Of Jazz and Nasri.
King Of Jazz drops back a furlong after running up to the Britannia hero, Sagramor, in a race full of winners, and could hold on into the frame. Shamandar (23.0) is the dark horse, or rather filly, a Group performer as a three-year-old now ready to dominate handicappers.
3.15 York (John Smith’s Cup): No winners over five in a race dominated by four-year-olds (6 out of 8), with an obvious improver from that age group, the lightly raced Pekan Star, half-brother to a French Derby winner. I really think he will prove in a different league. Banker.
3.35 Newmarket (Darley Cup): Only one horse older than five, and the three three-year-old winners this century have been gambles, starting at 9-2 or less, two out of three of them coming on from Royal Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien has won it with a Jubilee and a Jersey Stakes winner, and Oracle was only a length and a half off the Jersey winner after running third in the Irish Guineas.
Can he drop back to a sprint trip, as Delegator did at York? Monsieur Chevalier, second in the Golden Jubilee, with Star Witness third, seems back to his best but I will rely on the three-year-olds, with Elzaam, a close fourth in that Jubilee, pointing the way..
But to choose between the three-year-olds would be no contest, with Dream Ahead (9.8 this morning) and Oracle (31.0) Classic pretenders who should now come into their own.
3.45 Ascot (Summer Mile): With Cityscape out, Dick Turpin can return to his older form, which saw him thereabouts in a series of Group-1s, when he had the misfortunate to be stable number-two behind Canford Cliffs.
3.55 York: As I said for the Silver Cup, a low draw round the Knavesmire bends can be vital, witness the stalls position of the winner of this race over the last five years: 3, 2, 3, 7, 3.
Quite Sparky (8.6 on Betdaq) has improved for a new yard and Ryan Moore is booked. Capital Attraction ran well in the Royal Hunt Cup in blinkers and is the wrong price at 18.0.
4.35 Chester: If you are talking a low draw, you must be talking Chester, and my last advice at big odds is for the 17.5 offered about Mon Cadeaux: if I were training him, I’d let him go today, not see another horse, after his mishap last time.
BET (to win 20pts): 1.4pts win and place RAIN DELAYED (2.05 York)
BET 1.8pts win and place DUNGANNON (2.30 Ascot)
WIN-40 JACKPOT: BET 5.7pts win ETERNAL HEART, plus 2pts win and place TOTAL COMMAND (2.40 York)
LAY to win 10pts MANASSAS, plus WIN-40 JACKPOT: BET 5.2pts win KING OF JAZZ, plus 1.8pts win and place SHAMANDAR (2.55 Newmarket)
BANKER: 20pts win PEKAN STAR (3.15 York)
WIN-40 JACKPOT: 4.5pts win DREAM AHEAD, 1.3pts win and place ORACLE, and 1.4pts win (saver) DELEGATOR (3.35 Newmarket)
BET (to win 20pts): 2.6pts win QUITE SPARKY, plus 1.1pts win and place CAPITAL ATTRACTION and 1.2pts win and place MIRRORED (3.55 York)
BET 1.2pts win and place MON CADEAUX (4.35 Chester)