BEAT-THE-BOOK BETDAQ BETS AT THE BIG YORK MEETING: Daqman today unleashes a double Double Whammy as he attacks the favourites and fancied horses on the opening day of the big York Ebor meeting. He has two 14.5 Betdaq bets in the opening handicap.
Word has it that the St Leger winner runs today. Not Seville, who has lost his pips with defeat in the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix and has probably had enough for now. Not Namibian: gallant though he is, he represents Queens Vase form which has never gone on to glory in today’s Great Voltigeur or anything else for that matter.
In the opener on the first day at York I’m also looking to wily old Barrington Hills to bow out with a big-odds handicap winner. He has two chances, both 14.5 as I write.
2.00 York: In the two runnings of this race, the results by stall were 15 beat 16 and 18 beat 13, so nothing below 13 has finished in the first two. If that worked out, Kanaf in 14, Rain Delayed in 16 and Ritual in 17 would hold the key. But the low stalls contain all the pace.
And on that side of the pack, there could be a joker in stall 6. Barry Hills’ CD winner Face The Problem set up a sprint sequence last year and was not punished when badly drawn at Windsor last time out. Silvestre De Sousa is an interesting booking at 14.5 this morning.
Face The Problem and Swiss Franc (stall 4), from a stable in form, should get a good tow from front-runners Racy in stall 1, Strike Up The Band in 2, Fitz Flyer (9), Falasteen (8) and Favourite Girl (7).
Hills’ other runner, Shropshire (14.5), first time hooded, ran in the Greenham and, though he was thrashed 10 lengths, it’s as well to remember the winner and second were Frankel and Excelebration, and he was in the lead two out over 7f at Glorious Goodwood.
2.30 York (Acomb Stakes): Brian Meehan (Archbishop) is two out of three in this. Every single year since 2000, stalls 5 to 9 have won, but Archbishop – at 9.0 this morning – must have every chance in 4.
Al Khan (stall 9) and Moon Pearl (8) have both come from races of winners but the ground was firm in each case. It’s forever guesswork as to which of Ballydoyle’s is best: though the form currently suggests Furner’s Green, this is not a race in which O’Brien runs any from high in his pecking order.
Dansili’s don’t mind today’s soft surface and his son, Entifaadha, is the only one backed against O’Brien this morning at 5.8.
3.05 York (Great Voltigeur): The last Voltigeur winner to go on to take the Leger was Lucarno in 2007, though the runner-up at York in 2009 scored at Doncaster.
Lucarno was trained by John Gosden, who saddles Thimaar, making a big step up from his maiden but, as a Dynaformer, should have no problems with the ground though has twice been beaten by Al Kazeem over shorter.
Of the Godolphin pair, Genius Beast still has to prove he gets the trip and Hunter’s Light is held by the progressive and courageous Namibian, who stayed 2m at Royal Ascot.
The snag with Namibian is that he is exposed where such as Thimaar and Sea Moon can be expected to improve. No horse has won this with more than six runs in his year, and none from a Queens Vase.
On official ratings, Thimaar and Sea Moon have to make up at least 17lb on Seville – even Namibian trails him 8lb – after his seconds in the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix.
But Sea Moon has been the apple of Sir Michael Stoute’s eye all through a modest season by his standards and he has patiently targeted the North’s twin stamina towers of Great Voltigeur and St Leger. I think he’ll topple them.
3.40 York (Juddmonte International): Six-year-olds have a poor record, although Twice Over’s jockey has nothing to do with his opinion of the horse, claims Henry Cecil, who felt that Tom Queally should maintain his winning partnership with Midday.
It may all look academic against Await The Dawn, who ran away from them at Chester (firm) and Ascot (soft), two entirely different tracks and on different ground. Midday is the Group 1 performer to date but she has never won against the colts.
WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 2.2pts win on each FACE THE PROBLEM and SHROPSHIRE, plus 2.2pts win (stakes saver) KANAF (2.00 York)
BET (to win 20pts): 4.1pts win ENTIFAADHA and 2.5pts win ARCHBISHOP (2.30 York)
DOUBLE WHAMMY: LAY to win 10pts NAMIBIAN and 10pts win SEA MOON (3.05 York)
DOUBLE WHAMMY: LAY to win 10pts MIDDAY and 10pts win (nap) AWAIT THE DAWN (3.40 York)