FIVE LAYS UP IN A ROW: Daqman’s been on a roll with big-odds winners, then with his naps.. Now he’s hit five consecutive successful lays, with two out of two yesterday. There’s another one today.
TWO TIRED FAVOURITES: He named paper-favourite Joshua The First (unplaced 3-1) in the afternoon at Catterick; then Amtired (3rd 7-4 favourite) at Southwell last night. These followed Sunnyside Tom (4th 4-1), Arley Hall (2nd 3-1) and Rose Blossom (2nd 9-2).
RARE 15.5 NAP IN THE BRIGHTON MILE: There are two rare features about Daqman’s nap today. It was 15.5 on Betdaq this morning. And he’s backing it win and place.
They walked miles for this race. Or they went aboard the Brighton Belle (I’m talking about a train but a very special train). Those who walked to see today’s Brighton Mile – some of them from London – were the working class; those on the train were the bookies and the annual raceday better-off.
On the track, they joined the many fairground workers and, setting light to the scene, were the spivs and villains of Brighton Rock fame. Brighton races was a spectacle of crowds so deep it would make the Kop look like an orderly queue for a cup of tea at the vicarage party.
Brighton has lost its glamour. The races in particular. But, as with everything else that’s been dimmed by the years, proper promotion with the right ingredients, would resurrect the old belle of the racetracks.
There are lean times there today: the famous Brighton Mile is a class-4 trophy worth less than 10 grand to the winner, and Pinkie wouldn’t even have bothered to raid the till.
But it does have Silvestre De Sousa, and he’s the ace winners thief right now. After three rides there, he’s off to Kempton, where he faces a declared new challenge: ‘lazybones’ Kieren Fallon says he wants the title, and he’s going to get up off his hasta la vista and have a real go at it.
I’ve been banging on for the last few days about the current demise of Richard Fahey’s yard and that creates a dip in the fortunes of Paul Hanagan, who doesn’t have a single Pontefract favourite to make the day promising. So let’s go on the De Sousa march.
2.30 Brighton: The last time I bet in a seller, people smiled when they went into banks. But Easydoesit, seemingly not much to shout about on the surface, has hidden form for all to see.
Jane Chapple-Hyam, his trainer, is putting her hands up and saying: I got it wrong. At the same time, she’s saying Easydoesit works like a winner at home.
How do we know all this: well, the beast was heavily backed over 7f; there’s the confidence but the trip was wrong.
Even upped to more than 11 furlongs last time, Easydoesit didn’t. You can’t blame Jane on breeding (his not hers); the gelding’s stock shouts miler. But he’s been running on so well at the 7f and the 11f-plus that today’s trip (on the turn, which will keep him interested) will suit.
Consider his immediate opponents in the market: Le Corvee and Barbirolli are both nine-year-olds being claimed off, and Motarjm’s only Flat wins were on AW. Two other three-year-olds are of more interest but Bobby Dazzler’s yard – the local plating specialist Jim Best – is out of form and Special Endeavour’s stable has struggled for one win from 17 starters.
3.30 The Brighton Mile: The De Sousa mount, Signora Frasi, is a course winner, run into form by boy jockeys, so probably ready for this, but the mare has won only in lower class to date and is 7lb too high. Only one horse over the age of five has won the Mile this century.
Other possible edges are in the draw and the ratings: in three of the last four years, high numbers have dominated, with results by stall 14-12-8, 13-14-15, and 15-12-10. In that time, three of the winners were rated 75, 76, 77.
Despite top weight (it’s only a 5lb handicap, barring the bottom five), Conciliatory (15.5 this morning on Betdaq) has a big chance now that Rae Guest’s stable in fine form, with three winners and three others placed from the last eight runners, a 75% win-and-place strike-rate. Two runs in June should have put her right, and she’s got a high stall.
Despite his age, you can’t rule out Mujood, whose Brighton form figures are 34114, and he’s 9lb lower than for his last win here. Dazeen (stall 15), a winner at Ripon recently, has put back-to-back wins together before.
After running at Newbury, Newmarket and Ascot in better-quality races (class 2 last time), First Cat should get involved but is hard to risk your money on after a losing sequence of 20 stretching back two years. His form figures at this level since then are 3202333324 and, 9.8 the win this morning, should return at least double your money a place.
First Cat, Night Lily and Rondeau are drawn low – though Night Lily’s yard is in very good form – and Conciliatory won two grades higher than this last August: I feel the grey’s time is now, with Adam Beschizza taking off 3lb and putting her on only 2lb more than for that classier win.
4.00 Brighton: Zartina hasn’t shown much yet and the Kirk stable is missing strike (five places from 19 starters, no wins), as Sylvester books Silvestre in the hope of lifting the filly’s form and his own.
The same sorry strike-rate applies to Mick Channon (Silca Conegliano): 8 places and just one win from 57 attempts in the last fortnight. The filly is 0-22 and her position as favourite demands a lay.
Henrys Air and Brave Tiger have won races and Deslaya could improve for handicapping. Enough ammunition to take on the Channon.
6.00 Kempton (Free Entry For Betdaq Members Apprentice Handicap): Mark Johnston is in cracking form, win-and-place striking at 32%, despite running more than 100 horses in the last fortnight. I think he’ll win at the weights with Cluain Dara in the 3.40 Pontefract, a race he took in similar style last year.
Johnston’s Bikini Babe in this Kempton opener not so much as falls down the racing ladder as Monty Python plummets from Group runs last year to class 2 this, and now class 4 here. Shall we put her in the last-chance saloon at 4.4? Or shall we oppose the Fahey runner, Elmfield Giant, 19lb lower at the foot of the handicap? I’m not totally tempted to do either in a boys’ race.
6.30 Kempton (betdaq.com exchange Price Multiples Nursery): A tasty little two-year-old test, with potential front-runners Democretes, Illustrious Lad, Pint Size and Mahkama, or any combination of them, likely to make it a true 6f test.
That should suit Brimstone Hill. Barry Hills thought he was worth a tilt at a class 4 at Ascot but the race was slow-run, and he didn’t get a clear crack at it, having to change position when challenging. The 8.0 on Betdaq this morning was too big.
7.30 Kempton (Lay Back And Win At betdaq.com Maiden Stakes): Here’s that man Silvestre De Sousa riding for Mark Johnston on an unexposed American-bred, Feather Falls, who should do well on this surface.
But there’s Barry Hills again (Port Hollow), they backed Isometric on the debut, and I hear that Ganas is one to take out of the race. ‘Let me in, I want to play’ Fallon rides Cockney Rebel’s brother, Encore Une Fois, but I note that he is one more run before a handicap.
Akarana is the one I’d like to lay but 535.0 in the green is slightly prohibitive! The 420,000gns yearling slumped to 8,000gns at the October Sales. A lot to live down to, before even starting to race!
8.00 Kempton (Betdaq Mobile Apps Handicap): First time in a handicap for Planetoid and Princesse Gaelle. There are just a few pounds between top and bottom weight, and I can’t resist a Galileo, so I’m putting Planetoid in my Daq Multiples.
BET (to win 20pts) 7.2pts win EASYDOESIT (2.30 Brighton)
BET (win 30pts) 2pts win and place (nap) CONCILIATORY (3.30 Brighton)
BET (to win 20pts) 5.5pts win CLUAIN DARA (3.40 Pontefract)
LAY to win 10pts SILCA CONEGLIANO (4.00 Brighton)
BET (to win 20pts) 2.8pts win BRIMSTONE HILL (6.30 Kempton)
DAQ YANKEE (half a point stakes): Easydoesit (2.30 Brighton), Conciliatory (3.30 Brighton), Brimstone Hill (6.30 Kempton) and Planetoid (8.00 Kempton)