103 POINTS PROFIT IN SIX-DAY SPREE: Daqman reached 103 points profit this week after his fifth winning day out of six on Champions Day yesterday.
DANCING IN AT 6-1: His winners were Dancing Rain (WON 6-1), Deacon Blues (WON 5-2) and Frankel (WON 4-11), and he also gave placed horses, Gertrude Bell (3rd 16-1) and Colour Vision (3rd 10-1 from 15.5 on Betdaq).
11 WINNING LAYS OUT OF 12: His winnings were bolstered by a 10-point lay on Champion Stakes runner-up, So You Think (2nd 7-4), bringing his current run to 11 out of 12.
So, do you think you had a proper run for your money? As I warned he might before the race – and laid the horse publicly in this column – So You Think may well have lost the Champion Stakes yesterday because of the new whips rule.
Check it out on the Racing Post website. In replay, you can see the 7-4 favourite get a mainly hands-and-heels final-furlong ride from Ryan Moore, with just four or five shoulder movements visible as the whip is used from an almost upright position.
Compare that with Seamie Heffernan’s rhythmical further-down-in-the-saddle 10 or so strokes that got So You Think home by half a length over Snow Fairy in the Irish Champion Stakes last month.
I have not been precise about the number of strokes, since I don’t have the benefit of slow-motion cameras, as do the eagle-eyed rule-hungry hawks that pass for stewards.
But the difference between those two races – between victory and defeat – certainly isn’t the odd stroke; definitely around half as many are applied when maybe two or three more from the drive position might have lengthened So You Think’s stride sufficiently to bridge the threeparts of a length between the first two at Ascot yesterday.
In fact, Christophe Soumillon, the jockey on the winner, Cirrus Des Aigles, was stood down for five days for winning the race with six strokes of the whip inside the final furlong. The action replay shows that it was a timely piece of first-class jockeyship.
But, in effect, the result hinged on one ex-champion obeying the rules and another who didn’t, however unwittingly. It will happen often.
Soumillon meets English jockeys again in tonight’s Woodbine International, when his ride, John Hammond’s Sarah Lynx, tries to become the first filly to win in 23 years.
But Irish Derby winner, Treasure Beach, used only as a pacemaker by Ballydoyle in the Arc, should come into his own again here, with Lasix applied. He won the Secretariat Stakes on a previous American visit.
Beneath the drive for World Cup racing and ratings, the international scene is as wide apart as ever, because of different attitudes to drugs and whips. But, pray god, we never have a FIFA governing our sport. So-called stewardship with even greater power could have venal consequences.
The best racing closer to home is in Ireland today: Naas has a decent Listed on the Flat and Cork a Grade-B handicap chase.
Back-and-lay boys have been waiting for the Naas race, with the powerful front-runner Manieree dropping down in class from Group 2 but also down to a mile from the nine and 10 furlong races in which he’s twice beaten Ballydoyle’s Look At Me.
It’s hard to see how a different ride, even at this different trip, could get Look At Me any closer and also, strictly on the book, he has two lengths to make up on Hurricane Havoc. But the pair of them seem to be professional losers (form figures 00440032340 and 00130000203 respectively).
Empowering might be one for a place (and a win tilt at 10.0), back to a mile after the sprint campaign yielded at best a seven-lengths second to Deacon Blues. He won over a mile as a two-year-old and is a 7f Group-3 winner this season.
At Cork, First Lieutenant (4.30) will be odds on to continue his climb up the novice-chase ranks – some early RSA punters think he’s already the tops – and, though De Valira and Oscar Dan Dan have shouts, you wouldn’t expect to take a nine-year-old out of a novice chase as a horse to follow.
Ruby Walsh rides Cork leaving Daryl Jacob to give Pepe Simo (4.25) his seasonal debut over hurdles at Kempton (4.25) in a race Paul Nicholls has won three times from four starters, and with ‘Pepe’ almost certain to go well fresh.
Greylami is an interesting newcomer in the novices’ Listed (3.20), with Tony McCoy booked and A.P. may also galvanize Total Submission (3.50), a Kayf Tara grey, who is better than the bare form and is expected to make his mark over fences.
But, for me, the champ’s best ride is Mister Matt (4.55). McCoy is three out of four for trainer Bob Buckler, and ‘Matt’ is at his best on firmish ground.
Conditions were against him when Temple Place beat him at Newton Abbott and McCoy is back on board now for the first time since Mister Matt won at Uttoxeter in July: 6.2 is value if it stays dry.
BET 11pts win MANIEREE and 2pts win and place EMPOWERING (3.45 Naas)
BET 10.8pts win (nap) PEPE SIMO (4.25 Kempton)
BET 3.8pts win MISTER MATT (4.55 Kempton)
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