30 POINTS PROFIT FOR DAQMAN: Daqman had two winners for the second day running yesterday from just four races at Ayr – Timeless Elegance (WON 9-4) and Shamdarley (nap, WON 2-1) – for a profit of just under 30 points.
FOUR IN A ROW FOR THOSE STATS: He had analysed the Ayr card after researching a sequence of success for the top weights. What a revelation that was with four winners in a row on yesterday’s card!
11-2 AND 7-2 WINNERS: His Ayr successes followed two Southwell winners on Sunday: Princely Hero (WON 11-2) and Hi Tide (WON 7-2).
There’s a dose of déjà vu four times at Beverley today. Winners of four of last year’s races return to try to do the business again. I’ve done well sticking to one meeting a day so far this week, so it’s ‘same again’ for me, too: one meeting; Beverley.
The Yorkshire track used to be famous (notorious?) for its draw bias: I don’t know how strong that bias was, but I know a man who does: he was a punter who made it pay by selecting only certain races containing a very strong edge in the race conditions, age concessions and draw, preferably combined.
I’ll be looking at that in future columns. Meanwhile, he would have had two interests today: the Beverely draw, and the two three-year-olds who are getting a stone or more from most of the other runners. Let’s have a look.
1.30 Beverley: Remember Aunt Margery from yesterday? She’s a Tarot fanatic (she really is a card!) and tells me that King Of Swords means ‘power and courage to accomplish all desires.’
King Of Swords, the horse, hasn’t much of either, but he’s got the benefit of the draw (stall 2), he’s got the additional plus of Paul Hanagan in the saddle and he’s on very good terms with the handicapper right now.
King Of Swords, who wins only from this time of year through to September, is on his lowest career mark ever in 68 races since April 2006. Trainer Nigel Tinkler has had a lean year but it was Paul Hanagan who was booked by ‘Tink’ to score on Bomber Jet at Ayr only yesterday.
3.00 Beverley: Shadowtime, the first of our deja-vu horses, had a similar draw in a similar field last year; in fact, the potential result may be similar in many ways to last year, since the runner-up then was a Mark Johnston three-year-old.
Mark now saddles Old English, a new acquisition for Marwan Koukash from the Maktoums. Old English won for Sheikh Hamdan in March but, since the change of ownership, has been gelded and could have his eye on the ball again now (pun intended).
Bolodenka scores only in sellers and claimers these days and AW sequence builder I Confess has never won on turf in UK. Toto Skyllachy has to be in the mood and it was 12 races back that West End Lad last troubled the judge on turf.
Five times a Beverley winner, Shadowtime was unfancied this year (twice 66-1) until reunited with his 2010 hat-trick winning jockey at Beverley, Andrew Mullen, and scored here 10 days ago. He’s still a pound lower than for the last of that Mullen treble in 2010.
3.30 Beverley: That grand servant Markington would prefer another mile but managed to get home in this last year to complete a treble and make it 10 wins in a career which has also included 14 places: for the owners to draw 24 times from 60 starts can’t be bad (40% win-and-place strike-rate).
But standing in his way today is the Tim Easterby three-year-old Mojolika. Easterby has won this race three times in the last decade, including with a three-year-old who had to carry 5lb more than this one. Silvestre De Sousa has done enough recently to catch the eye whenever you seem him booked.
The older, hold-up horses have very little pace and I reckon Mojolika can establish an uncontested lead. I took 4.2, expecting to lay off in running at very short odds-on.
4.30 Beverley: De Sousa won this last year on Hitches Dubai, who is 2lb lower today but he seems to have deteriorated more than that with abysmal efforts this year, and Geoff Harker reaches for the visors. Harker’s done that eight times before; eight losers.
The same tactics didn’t work for Kalahari Desert last time out, though the visors got her a place, third, for the first time in eight outings, and she’s now better off with the runner-up, Galpin Junior, a notorious bridesmaid who’s won only a claimer since breaking his maiden. He may be good enough here but nothing in a race like this will carry my money.
5.00 Beverley: Last of the four same-again runners who won last year is Kyle Of Bute, in the race named after Dorothy Laird, who did so much for women jockeys and answered so many Press queries over the years, as lady riders came into their own.
Here are 17 girls and ladies to feast your eyes on. Jockeyship-wise, Sarah Brotherton on ‘Kyle’ would have to be one of the best, and she’s won this twice in four years.
BET (to win 20pts) 7.2pts win KING OF SWORDS (1.30 Beverley)
BET 8pts win SHADOWTIME and 2.6pts win OLD ENGLISH (3.00 Beverley)
BET 6.25pts win (nap) MOJOLIKA (3.30 Beverley)