SEVEN UP! IT’S DAQMAN ALL THE WAY: Daqman made it a whole week of winning naps when Notus De La Tour (WON 4-9) made all the running and scored by 24 lengths at Plumpton yesterday. Here are Daqman’s last seven best bets:

• Tuesday: RUN TO FLY (WON 15-8)
• Wednesday: CAMBORNE (WON 6-4)
• Thursday: IRISH FLAME (WON 5-1)

• Friday: GRANDS CRUS (WON 13-8)

• Saturday: HUNTER’S LIGHT (WON 8-11)
• Sunday: FINGAL BAY (WON 4-5)
* Monday NOTUS DE LA TOUR (WON 4-9)

Just names staring up at me from the racecard. Tempting me to believe in them for the nap are coincidence bets Number One, a horse called Hope, two dubbed Diamond, and one called Cool. There’s even a runner, Shambles, warning me that I might make a complete mess of it!

Searching for winning nap number eight, I feel like a panhandler, sifting through the mud on the riverbed of poor-quality racing, praying he’ll turn up a nugget that will change his day, but fearing fool’s gold.

Hope Point, White Diamond and Diamond Twister are all at Fakenham, where six of only 38 runners must win on the firm ground. But which ones?

Stick to the winning formula, says a voice in my head: five of my seven naps have been in races of seven to 10 runners. In such fields, you have fewer ‘enemies’ in a race but, at the same time, you can feel pretty confident there’ll be a proper pace on.

But Folkestone isn’t much better: small fields and also firm. Maybe Southwell’s better then? Oh dear, big fields and bottom-of-the-heap class 6 most of the day.

FAKENHAM: deleting the seller and the conditionals race, Hope Point (2.10) is certainly the first horse of note in the first race of interest on the Fakenham card.

However, I see that his Huntingdon win was in slow time for the good ground. Bernisdale’s at Sedgefield was even slower but Flat winners Imperial Fong and Thank You Joy could switch well to hurdles.

Novice chases (2.40) are a worry with small fields; horses unable to get into a rhythm because of the slow pace can make more mistakes than those able to stretch in a more competitive event.

The three miles would normally sort them out, with No Rules not guaranteed to get the trip but, again, a slow pace might not help the stayers.

Larks Lad (his ‘win’ was a walk over) hasn’t been tested yet; Bottman’s win was on the course and was decisive (eight lengths and 59) but very slow.

Helpston appeals most, as one able to spin around Market Rasen but equally able to jump well on the testing Wetherby track. But you just don’t know the strength of the Henderson horse, who is superbly bred for the job (Bobs Back out of a Strong Gale mare).

Investment Affair is heavily penalized for winning a weak CD, and the handicap chase (3.10) looks between the youngsters Morenito and The Laodicean, with Morenito ridden by year’s wining jockey, Paddy Brennan, on his only ride of the day.

But Morenito’s yard has been worried that he will bounce from his run back after a long absence. Caroline Bailey is 100% in such races here (2-2) this season and 57% (4-7) in the last five years and five-year-old The Laodicean (3.3 this morning), who went out hunting at the weekend, has had only one run over fences and is likely to show big improvement.

FOLKESTONE: The 100% players at Folkestone are Sam Thomas riding for Diana Grissell (2-2) but Arbeo (1.30) is returning from 258 days off and the yard hasn’t had a winner over jumps for 239 days.

Ballyclough and Tony Dinozzo are also back after long breaks, and Ballyclough makes most appeal, with a claimer on the Henderson horse and Tony McCoy on the McManus.

Stable form in the handicap hurdle (2.30) suggests that the race is between Edgefour, Osmosia and Brunton Blue: the other yards area really struggling.

That includes Kim Bailey, who saddles the favourite, Set In her Ways. He was doing well a couple of months back but hasn’t had a winner for more than six weeks. On the other hand, he has a massive 40% strike rate with handicap debutants.

Osmosia looked unlucky when stumbling at Plumpton last time out in a better class race) or would have been in the frame five times in a row.

Edgefour seems to reserve her best for Worcester and I like Bruntcon Blue (4.4 this morning), getting around a stone or more from the other fancied horses.

Brunton Blue has improved dramatically under patient handling since tailing off in August, third on a firm surface next time, and improving again last time out when second to a good yardstick.

The Darling Boy (3.00) was one of the first horses I ever backed (before your time, trained Reg Day) and Run To Fly (3.30) it was who started my current sequence, first of my seven naps, when he won last Tuesday. Is he the one to complete a week of winning best bets?

Absolute Shambles carries 16lb below his hurdles-winning rating and is blinkered for the first time: it’s difficult to gauge how much of a threat he might be to Run To Fly, with the additional worry that ‘Run’ does indeed try to fly the odd fence.

He’s landed the money twice since the end of last month but almost blundered it away (headed last), though only needed hands and heels riding to get back up at Lingfield.

It was a similar story at Plumpton on the last day of last month, but again he had plenty in hand and found extra so able to shrug off his mistake.

In fact, Absolute Shambles is returning to fences: he’s won two, one of them a grade higher than this. He was the wrong price at 5.4 on Betdaq this morning, with Run To Fly odds on, in a two-horse race (true odds 1-1).

Favoured Nation (4.00) is also too big at 3.9, as I write. He wasn’t asked a question on the soft – he hated it – at Chepstow; progeny of his sire, Milan, are much better on a sound surface.

Fergall has already been withdrawn three times because of ground like today’s, and Glenwood Present, related to a Grand National winner, would probably prefer to go round twice.

Glenwood Present’s stable is badly out of form with 21 consecutive losers in 38 days and, according to the Racing `Post, getting 0% (repeat ‘zero’) out of its horses.

SOUTHWELL: There are 21 platers and a nine-horse maiden here, so that’s some of the dross out of the way.

Hughie Morrison is two out of three in Southwell nurseries and he’s running Dora’s Gift (1.50) where a member of her family has already won.

But top yards – Balding, Cole, Fahey – also turn out for this, all with horses placed last time out and open to any amount of improvement (or not).

Big-field sprints are asking for trouble – your horse might lose a length or two at the start and therefore the race – so I’m interested only in the 3.20.

I see two horses getting away from them in the mile: On The Cusp isn’t well drawn but that didn’t stop him trying – lost second in last 75 yards – to make all here last month.

But No Larking at 8.2 is the wrong price, value from stall one, off the same mark that saw him make all at Brighton on soft ground in the summer.

BET 5pts win BRUNTON BLUE (2.30 Folkestone)
BET 8pts win (nap) THE LAODICEAN (3.10 Fakenham)
BET 2.7pts win NO LARKING (3.20 Southwell)
BET 4.5pts win ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES (3.30 Folkestone)
BET 6.8pts win FAVOURED NATION (4.00 Folkestone)

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