‘FLY’ WIN BY DAQMAN’S NAP: Daqman landed his nap yesterday with Run To Fly (WON 15-8) at Lingfield. The horse blundered badly but managed to fiddle it and get back up again on the run-in.
Flat racing’s over; long live the Flat: though the turf season is behind us, the Flat continues on synthetic surfaces and, after last December’s lesson, the AW game is back to being regarded as an essential ingredient of the English sport.
It’s a memory now but one that may come back to haunt us shortly. Jumps meetings were lost and champion trainer Paul Nicholls reported that he had to cancel riding out for the first time in 19 years at Ditcheat.
Blizzards could wipe out AW, too, but more often than not the surfaces survive; it’s access to the tracks for horses and punters that are the main concern. I hope some solutions to this problem have been found during the summer months, though the co-operation of local councils comes at a bad time for funding.
William Buick, who finished fifth-top jockey on turf with bang on 100 winners, is today’s ‘jockey most likely to’, riding three paper favourites at Kempton Park. I nap him in the first.
4.20 Kempton (Free Entry For Betdaq Members Median Auction Maiden Stakes): Buick’s John Gosden debutant should be good enough first time, though every one of his opponents has had experience already. Gosden has a 35% strike-rate in this type of race here.
The stables of Zoe Davison (212 days without a winner), Tom Keddy (120) and John Jenkins (35) seem badly out of form, and James Fanshawe has been disappointing in the last fortnight to the extent that his most recent runners have been allowed to start 15-2, 9-1 (twice), 12-1, 22-1 and 33-1; not much fancied.
Dawn Story (difficult to load) showed temperament on her debut, Bondie was last of seven over a mile first time, and Grand Sort – ‘slowly away’ then ‘struggling’ – hardly lived up to his name on turf.
Front-runner Grand Theft Equine hasn’t been well served by the draw and, though he’s still likely to take charge, Camborne wouldn’t have to be much to overhaul him late on if the Jim Boyle gelding’s recent CD run is anything to go by.
Should Grand Theft Equine win, it would be Eddie Ahern’s first at Kempton Park in 127 days, after 30 consecutive losing rides. He finished well down in the turf table (34th) and no longer seems to be the same jockey who thrilled us on this course a couple of years back.
4.50 Kempton (Betdaq Multiples Handicap) Ahern climbs up on Mountain Ranger here for John Dunlop, whose course record is poor: you’d have had to back 63 losers to be certain to trap his five AW winners at Kempton.
I would have thought that Mountain Range’s penchant for soft ground didn’t augur well for this AW debut – I’d rather see him at Southwell or Wolver – but Aurora Sky and Tinshu have made just such a transition. Both are drawn high and will be expected to drop in.
The Ivory set-up which used to be so potent at Kempton is back in some form right now and Ellemujie, transformed for a win on turf by blinkers, could now respond to this switch to Polytrack.
The each-way bet ought to be Incendo after placing in all five runs at Kempton; I’ve already had some reservations about the Fanshawe form but this is his type of contest here (30%) with a high level-stakes return.
Noguchi and Auden must have had problems, each with one recent run back after a year or so off. Noguchi was unfancied at Doncaster last month (behind Incendo) but Auden didn’t get a clear run, third over CD eight days ago and, with Buick taking over, should be good enough.
Auden’s trainer, Mahmoud Al Zarooni, has shot up the training ranks to fifth place, beating Godolphin’s original mainstay stable over here, that of Saeed Bin Suroor, by around £1m in prizemoney won for 2011.
5.20 Kempton (Back And Lay At betdaq.com EBF Maiden Stakes, Division 1) Richard Hannon, who made £2m more than Al Zarooni, with a staggering 213 winners for the championship, and has all but handed over the reins to Richard Junior, has three runners at Kempton tonight after a solo spin for Fisher (1.30) in the nursery at Southwell.
The Hannon hope here, Royal Prospector, first of a couple of decent rides for the in-form Jim Crowley tonight (he’s on the favourite in the 6.20) doesn’t have the best of the draw.
Royal Prospector, Sheikh The Reins, Typography, Sarah Berry, Polydamus and Arch Villain have all been seen in maidens at the top tracks of Ascot, Newbury, Sandown and Newmarket.
The market is strong for ‘Sheikh’ but means there’s an each-way bet somewhere in the 7.0 bar. For me, that would be well-drawn Arch Villain (8.2) for the in-form Amanda Perrett, despite Ahern’s taking the ride. Come on, Eddie, get it together, son!
5.50 Kempton (Back And Lay At betdaq.com EBF Maiden Stakes, Division 2) Saeed Bin Suroor remains one of the leading trainers at Kempton, with a near-40% strike rate with two-year-olds, and Rassam was an expensive Irish-bred.
Fabled City is well drawn and has some experience, and the market says not to leave out Haaf A Sixpence, but the Hannon filly, Cape Joy, is out to double figures, a lonely dog on a raft this morning, not wanted, poor mutt.
6.20 Kempton (Betdaq Mobile Apps Handicap) Steve Drowne is 2-4 for Lydia Richards (Henry Holmes) and Michael Scudamore (Red Current) is 25% in handicaps on this course.
Quite different animals, those two, with Henry Holmes needing 20 races – 16 on AW – before getting off the mark but the overworked Red Current (76 appearances) is recently consistent with form figures of 20331102.
But Henry Holmes won a very poor contest at Lingfield and Red Current inevitably has a high handicap mark. Both are getting on a bit, with another birthday looming in a few weeks’ time, and the race’s history suggests we should be looking at those aged three going on four.
Dhampas is likely to lead but The Absent Mare and Rosairlie have the best form among the youngsters, if anything is going to beat the top one, Shalambar.
Shalambar has to prove himself at today’s trip, and I’ll take a bit each way The Absent Mare (7.0 this morning as I write); the grey has improved as she’s been stepped up, stage by stage, on AW in her last three Flat races.
BET: 14pts win (nap) CAMBORNE (4.20 Kempton)
BET: 12pts win AUDEN (4.50 Kempton)
BET: 2.5pts win and place ARCH VILLAIN (5.20 Kempton)
BET: 3.3pts win and place THE ABSENT MARE (6.20 Kempton)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 2 x 2pt win doubles: Rassam (5.50 Kempton) with each of Camborne (4.20 Kempton) and Auden (4.50 Kempton) and 1pt win treble the three.
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