BACK-TO-BACK NAPS FOR DAQMAN: Daqman made it two naps out of two when he yesterday added Camborne (WON 6-4) to Run To Fly (WON 15-8) on Tuesday. He had two more Kempton winners on Betdaq night – The Absent Mare (WON 13-2) and Rassam (WON 4-7) – for an overall profit of 26.80.
No pressure, then! What to nap for the hat-trick today? I’m choosing between a horse laid out for a race (Salerosa), a value bet if he recovers his form back on a sound surface (Caunay), a first-time chaser at odds-on for Henderson-McCoy (Cucumber Run) and a Derby winner dropped to a class-4 (Irish Flame).
Well, I’m always going on about class, and I won’t try to sneak in an odds-on shot, so I’ll settle for Irish Flame. He’s a big price for a race in which it’s guesswork about the favourite, a disappointing three-year-old in first-time headgear.
1.20 Southwell: If Salerosa had a top stable by her name, and a bit better recent form, she’d be a short price here. As it is, you can get 7.0, at time of writing, about last year’s winner.
There’s nothing better than a horse clearly aimed at a race (how many of the others actually want it?) and clearly capable of winning it. How many indeed?
Well, this is a claimer but, scored as a handicap, the ratings read 94 Autumn Blades – beaten a total of 30 or so lengths in his last two starts and beaten in this race before – 88 Salerosa, 87 Lovelace, badly drawn in 13 and without a win in 18 months.
Lovelace, who has deteriorated from a Group-2 win three years back, now has to have the hood removed at the very last moment in case he realizes he’s on racetrack with a job of work to do!
1.40 Taunton: Caunay is the ‘wrong price’ this morning at 8.4 on Betdaq. The soft ground found him out last time at Fontwell but he had been progressive on a sound surface before that.
Ange Guerrier could improve for Paul Nicholls first time in a handicap but badly needs to; Dormouse requires cut; and Dancewiththedevil, though a CD winner likely to be on the premises again, is hard to win with and the stats say it won’t be here: trainer Bernard Llewellyn hasn’t had success at Taunton in nearly 10 years.
Watch out for rain at Taunton: for instance, on a sound surface, Falcon Island (2.10), by Turtle Island, would be struggling; he’s bred for cut in the ground. If the going stays on top, I would want to be on He’s Our Lad.
Similarly, Jawhary in the 3.00 at Ludlow is a Pivotal, and you’d expect him to want rain. Agent Archie is a four-time Flat winner but Don McCain has a poor strike rate here, and A P McCoy may have better chances for Nicky Henderson.
2.30 Ludlow: Cucumber Run’s jumps pedigree is the equivalent of a Sea The Stars on the Flat. The son of Oscar out of a Presenting mare is pitched from a Graded hurdle straight into a chase but it will be a big surprise if he isn’t more than good enough.
The in-form Henderson stable farms this meeting and is two out of three in the bumper (4.00): his royal runner, Open Hearted, also ridden by McCoy, is superbly named, as ever, by Her Majesty (Generous out of Romantic Dream). Grovel, grovel.
6.50 Kempton: The 2010 South African Derby winner, Irish Flame, seventh in the Sheema Classic on AW at Meydan, is massive at 6.4 on Betdaq this morning after his recent run back at Newmarket.
This is a race that won’t take much winning: John Gosden tries a new trip and headgear for the disappointing Treasury Devil; Spensley, without Kieren Fallon, seems in the grip of the handicapper now; and Late Telegraph flopped at Leicester.
BET 3.3pts win and place SALEROSA (1.20 Southwell)
BET 2.7pts win and place CAUNAY (1.40 Taunton)
BET 3.7pts win (nap) IRISH FLAME (6.50 Kempton)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 6 x 1pt win doubles Salerosa (1.20 Southwell), Caunay (1.40 Taunton), Cucumber Run (2.30 Ludlow) and Irish Flame (6.50 Kempton)
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