FIVE WINNING DAYS OUT OF SIX: The 11-2 winner El McGlynn, ridden by the 7lb claimer Hannah Nunn, yesterday helped Daqman to his fifth winning day from the last six, as follows:
PROFIT 61 points (Wednesday): Hurricane Higgins (WON 14-1) and Sir Graham Wade (WON 14-1)
PROFIT 37 points (Thursday): Grandeur (WON 8-1 from 13.0), Stirring Ballad (WON 8-1); Ahern and Simenon (unplaced lays)
PROFIT 9 points (Friday): Quest For Peace (WON 5-1), Boom And Bust (4th 20-1)
PROFIT 14 points (Sunday): Van Ellis (WON 2-1), Moonlight Cloud (WON 4-5)
PROFIT 9 points (yesterday): El McGlynn (WON 11-2), Fleur De La Vie (WON 6-4)
Some stable plans are open secrets. Even trainers who tell you nothing reveal their aspirations by the entries they make. That can tell you everything.
As creatures of habit, relying on their luck, they go for the same meetings that brought success in the past, and why not. They even go for the same races with the same horses.
But, before jumping on any obvious bandwagons, make sure the stable has its horses tuned up. Even Usain Bolt ‘got beat’ when he was unprepared and out of form.
Take Bath today (please take it; it’s my second worse meeting for betting after Brighton!), Ronald Harris and Bill Turner go for repeats in two contrasting races, Ron in the sprint, Bill in the stayers’ race.
Ron’s Spic ‘N Span (3.30) flopped at Friday’s Bath meeting but often wins within a few days of his previous run: in fact, he’s scored four times – seven days, six days and four days after (twice) – when primed with a run.
That’s why, though Griffin Point beat him hollow on Friday, they are first and second in the betting for today’s race, and Griffin Point – a perennial bridesmaid – is drawn wide along with another danger, Rupeetoups.
Bill Turner’s Lucky Diva (4.30) came back to form last time, his first run on turf over around 2m since he won this race from a small field in 2011.
The snag is that Lucky Diva likes to hear his feet rattle, and you need all of this morning’s 8.0 on BETDAQ. As long as only light rain falls, we should be OK.
I am going to bet as though one of these repeat plans comes off, so I shall take 7.0 Spic ‘N Span, if lose Lucky Diva to win me my usual 20 points plus any monies lost on the first bet.
For the purposes of this column, I shall have to record these bets as 7.0 and 8.0, since I have no idea what Lucky Diva’s offers will be after Spic ‘N Span has run. Could be bigger; might be smaller.
The most interesting race of the day is the 7.05 at Ripon tonight, a close-fought handicap if the Betdaq list of offers is to be believed.
The ‘prices’ in the orange add up to only 108%, even though five of the six are within the offers parameter of 3.6 to 6.2.
Again, there’s an open secret here: Pam Sly loves to win at Ripon and is showing a 44% strike rate (four out of nine). Her filly Scarlet Whispers has top weight but, if allowed her own way, is a devastating front-runner, who gamely holds on to her prize, including one over CD.
The others have similar chances but, if Mizbah is their benchmark, he was more than 14 lengths behind Scarlet Whispers (5.3) at Windsor.
Another stable giveaway is their future entries for a horse, though you have to consider: does this trainer call all his geese swans, and overface them in their entries?
Bryan Smart has Moviesta (6.05) entered in Group-2 races. Is he tilting at windmills? Or is this a colt who should be running in the pattern?
If he’s right 2.3 is a great offer in a class-5 maiden but he’s being shadowed in the betting by Darkening; not much between them, in fact. So I can’t do my usual trick of backing one, and covering with a stakes saver on the other. I’d be in a long-odds-on dutching situation. Don’t fancy that.
All eyes will be on Kempton – where Betdaq sponsor tomorrow – after the ‘deep and desperate’ ground there yesterday (quote unquote Richard Hughes). More rain is forecast this afternoon.
Another ploy by trainers which is easily readable is the first-time-in-a-handicap routine, whereby a horse has quiet runs in maiden company and then goes for a handicap hit.
But the trainer of the paper favourite, Chemistry Master (6.25) in the night’s first handicap, has a poor strike rate ‘first time in’ (1-24) and, with three-year-olds doing well from this stage of the season, it’s Pugnacious that catches the eye for Mark ‘Mr Goodwood’ Johnston.
Melodrama would be a big danger on the current form of his trainer, David Lanagan (22211), but there’s a doubt about the ground and the blinkers have been left off.
If I Were A Boy is down in class, and slowly dropping in the handicap, but – on a poor day’s racing – I shall rely for the nap on the three-year-old ascendancy for a stable in top form.
BET 3.3pts win SPIC ‘N SPAN (3.30 Bath), if lose 3.3pts win LUCKY DIVA (4.30 Bath)
BET 3.7pts win (nap) PUGNACIOUS (6.25 Kempton)
BET 4.6pts win SCARLET WHISPERS (7.05 Ripon)
* Daqman’s selections are backed to win 20 points so, if you divide 20 by his stake, you know the Betdaq offer taken at the time of writing. Points are what you make them: if your unit stake is £5, then 5pts win is £25.
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