ANOTHER NAP FOR DAQMAN: On a day he wrote about Kieren Fallon, there was a spot of irony about Daqman’s winning nap, Penitent (WON 13-8), since it was ridden by Paul Hanagan at Hamilton yesterday. Today Daqman does some dutching at three meetings.
What a climbdown! Surely they’re not that short of a few bob. Are we seriously to believe that Dare To Dance was a Group horse in a handicap on Saturday when he now stoops to conquer a class-3 for six grand at Ayr today?
The raging favourite for the Cambridgeshire, pulled out because of firm ground, goes for peanuts and risks a penalty. It makes you wonder if the ground was the only problem before Saturday’s race.
There will be those who lump on today – good luck to them – and not many who lay. For me, this is such a curious enterprise, I don’t want anything to do with it.
The indications are that this is his level (class 3 is the best he’s done so far), though he was backed like a big-game improver for Saturday.
It’s often the case with Noseda that what you see is what you get, because he trains them to fly their races at home and they usually come to the track fully fledged.
So why aren’t I a layer? Well, if you put others in this race under the microscope, you’ll find something to ponder there, too. By all accounts (it’s called form), only three other horses in the race can win on the soft.
In fact in several cases across the cards today, you would be right to ask: what is this beast doing in this race on this ground (it’s soft at Chepstow, too) or at this trip? Answer: getting it’s rating down for next season.
Another possible answer, of course, is: struggling to get a win out of the old so-and-so before the season ends.
One solution for punters, pulled this way and that by the ‘is it busy or not?’ and ‘can it act on the ground or not?’ question marks is to work only with trainers in form. Some are useless at this stage of the season; others relish the autumn competition.
It’s Luca Cumani’s time of year, and Roger Varian is in full cry. Sod’s law that they have one runner each but in the same race (4.00 Chepstow). Both have a favoured high stall. Sounds like a dutching job to me.
As I’m sure you know by now, I declare to win 20 points a bet, so that means 5.1 to win Encore Un Fois at 4.9 (Cumani-Fallon) and 2.9 win Russian Affair at 7.8 (Varian-Callan), which are the offers I see before me.
Neil Callan’s form for Roger Varian in the last 10 days is 11130140. Fallon riding for Cumani is: 0231203. There nearest rivals in the market, Ancient Greece and Mr Udagawa, are both badly drawn.
But the trainer of the moment under both Rules must be Charlie Longsdon, whose win strike-rate is 50% (six from 12) in the last fortnight, in fact six from the last 10.
He has two runners today at Sedgefield: that’s quite a trip from Oxfordshire but not as far as Gordon Elliott’s across the Irish Sea.
The pair clash with chasing newcomer Brother Bob (Longsdon) and Russian War (Eliott), a hiccup starter over fences, ridden by Tony McCoy (2.50).
Six times a hurdles winner, Russian War didn’t last the 3m 2f of his first chase and then fell trying to jump out of bog-heavy ground, back home at Listowel.
Today’s sound surface and McCoy should lift him over the Sedgefield fences. But McCoy might well be looking over his shoulder, as he was when he narrowly beat Brother Bob over hurdles when partnering a short-priced favourite 11 months ago at Haydock.
Back at Ayr in the maiden (2.40), another pairing is Gibraltar Road, heavily backed on the debut, but 7.0 this morning, and Bubbly Bounty at 6.0, from a soft-ground family and with a trainer who is currently 100% in this type of race.
BET 4pts win BUBBLY BOUNTY and 3.3pts win GIBRALTAR ROAD (2.40 Ayr)
BET 12pts win RUSSIAN WAR and 3.5pts win (stakes saver) BROTHER BOB (2.50 Sedgefield)
BET 4.9pts win ENCORE UN FOIS and 2.9pts win RUSSIAN AFFAIR (4.00 Chepstow)