DAQMAN’S BACK-TO-BACK NAPS AND BIG-VALUE FRIDAY DOUBLE: Daqman landed back-to-back naps yesterday when he followed up Thursday’s winning supernap with Tone The Barone (WON 13-8), fabulous morning value on BETDAQ at 3.8. Daqman had a similar win at BETDAQ value with Tommys Oscar (WON 13-8 from 3.4), an early strike for his winner-a-day target. The two Friday winners gave him a profit on the day of 14.50. His six winners in five days were:
✔️ WON 13-8 TONE THE BARONE (Friday, nap, from 3.8 BETDAQ)
✔️ WON 13-8 TOMMYS OSCAR (Friday, from 3.4 on BETDAQ)
✔️ WON 10-11 MACK THE MAN (Thursday, supernap)
✔️ WON 7-1 DOSTAL PHIL (Wednesday, from 9.6 BETDAQ)
✔️ WON 2-1 DON HERBAGER (Tuesday)
✔️ WON 7-2 TIMELESS BEAUTY (Monday)
NOW FOR SUPER SATURDAY NAPS HAT-TRICK BID AND 26.0 BET: Daqman’s looking for a naps hat-trick; he’s looking for a double; and he’s looking for two bull’s-eye bets and a 26.0 outsider, win and place. Headlines:
🔹 A MAGIC MATCH WITH ROKSANA
🔹 ARRIVEDERCI THE HIDDEN HORSE
🔹 26.0 ROC FOR ONE-TWO WITH ENKI
🔹 SLOGGER CAN STEP UP IN THE MUD
🔹 THE CHAMP IS WAITING PATIENTLY
A MAGIC MATCH WITH ROKSANA
⭕ 1.15 Ascot Magic Of Light goes for the hat-trick in this Grade-2 mares’ hurdle. She made all and had Coded Message well behind, fourth, in last year’s race.
But, though clear top rated in both her winning years, she is second best off 149 to Roksana today, if the handicapper is correct.
Roksana won the 2019 Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham and was at her best, probably worth a couple of pounds rise in her rating, when third – beaten two lengths – in the Long Walk here the week before Christmas, with winner (Paisley Park) and second racing off 165 and 160 to her 153.
ARRIVEDERCI THE HIDDEN HORSE
⭕ 1.50 Ascot Grade-3 handicap hurdle won by horses aged five and six nearly 90% of the time, which suggested a turn-up today.
But the leading five-year-old in the race, Arrivederci, came in from the cold, well backed last night (10-1>13-2) and was best-offers 8.4 in the BETDAQ orange this morning.
Arrivederci broke his maiden only in January but followed up after a break at Wetherby in October, giving 2lb and a beating to War Lord, who is 3lb worse off here.
The early-market quote was because Arrivederci fell next time when a length second three out at Haydock, with War Lord the winner.
Then Arrivederci and Botox Has finished out of sight behind Not So Sleepy in a shorter Grade 3 here at Ascot the week before Christmas.
Lightly Squeeze, who was third, completed a hat-trick a year ago but struggled after that, hit hard by the handicapper, 17lb-20lb higher, so the Ascot run was very respectable. Has had further wind op since.
Danny Kirwan broke his maiden here in November and Janika has been placed twice at Ascot over fences: this is his first hurdle race for more than three years, and his first ever in England.
A win for him would be a hat-trick in this race for 11st 12lb top-weights. Sounds like a tall order but, in fact, he’s 13lb lower over hurdles than his chasing mark.
His stablemate Craigneiche, and the nine-year-old Paddys Motorbike, are both winning novice hurdlers but Kateson won a class-2 handicap the last day at Aintree and Dans Le Vent (gets a strong word from his trainer) took one at Hereford.
VERDICT: My three against the field are Paddys Motorbike as the improver for in-form Sam Thomas; Janika as the blot on the handicap despite top weight; and Arrivederci as the ‘hidden horse’. I took 7.3 Janika and 9.0 Arrivederci.
26.0 ROC FOR ONE-TWO WITH ENKI
⭕ 2.10 Taunton (Portman Cup) Rock The Kasbah hasn’t been seen since running second in this last year, beaten more than five lengths by the winner, Yala Enki, at level weights, just about what you’d expect from their ratings (157-150)
But Yala Enki has been busy since, including third two weeks back in the Coral Welsh Grand National, and his rating has surged 13lb higher than his rival. In between, are Al Roc (158) and If The Cap Fits (152).
If The Cap Fits beat Fiddlerontheroof at Ffos Las (2m 5f) when opening his short novice-chase career in October and was staying on in the Ladbrokes Kauto Star (3m) at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Al Roc is interesting. The 2m 6f (twice) Auteuil winner on very soft ground leaps up in trip here, switched across the Channel to Dr Richard Newland.
He and his owners are no doubt working on the fact that Al Roc’s dam is a half-sister to Scottish National winner, Al Co.
French form suggests he will need the run after a break but is massive at BETDAQ 26.0 for a speculative pound in a six-horse race: 7.0 the place.
SLOGGER CAN STEP UP IN THE MUD
⭕ 2.40 Haydock (Peter Marsh Chase) There has been just one winner of this carrying 11st 10lb in 23 years but Royal Pagaille has achieved his 156 rating from just two starts in December off an opening 135, and was heavily backed when markets opened.
Sam’s Adventure won the Tommy Whittle here at Haydock on heavy in December, and Smooth Stepper enjoyed similar conditions when winning the Haydock Grand National Trial last February.
Lamanver Pippin was third in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in March but flopped as favourite for the Coral Welsh Grand National Trial last month and Team Tizzard remains out of sorts (0-25).
Potters Legend won the staying-chase final here in 2018 and was second in a Grade 3 at Cheltenham in December. Acey Milan has dropped to the mark off which he won a novices’ handicap at Aintree in the autumn.
Crievehill disappointed when part of the Fortune Cookies’ early-bird squad but is 32221 at Haydock, and is 7lb lower than a year or so back. Just Your Type is likely to set the pace.
I took BETDAQ 9.0 the slogger Smooth Stepper, who beat last year’s winner of this race in the Grand National Trial, when Tommy Whittle winner Lord Du Mesnil was second, and Welsh National placed Yala Enki and The Two Amigos, were third and fourth.
THE CHAMP IS WAITING PATIENTLY
⭕ 3.35 Ascot (Clarence House Chase) Form and facts preview: yesterday.
Eight out of 10 favourites have won this in the decade, but is there a flaw in Politologue?
It’s more than three years since he was able to put two wins together without a long absence, I think because he takes a lot out of himself to win a Grade 1.
Successes from November, 2018, onwards have come after 225 days off; 95 days break and 269 days’ absence, particularly necessary with his new front-running style, seen in Tingle Creek and Champion Chase.
Defi Du Seuil had a superb year in 2019, beating Politologue in the Shloer and in the Clarence House, and was 5-2 on for the Champion Chase in March.
He was only fourth and pulled up on his return. Philip Hobbs is in much better form now and is happy with him but the conundrum is that, until we see him do it again, we can’t back him.
Fanion D’Estruval is one for the future if he can place here and pass his jumping test (fell three out in the Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham in December.)
But the most likely winner where stamina is the essential is Waiting Patiently.
Seven wins in a row 2016 to 2018, including defeat of Politologue at Haydock and of Cue Card in the Ascot Chase.
Finishing so well, second to Frodon in the King George, that he was supplemented for today, and has been solidly backed to 4.0 and shorter on BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
Everything depends on champion-jockey Brian Hughes, who gets very little limelight, as the first champ based in the North since Jonjo O’Neill (1980), and in front again this season, ahead of Harry Cobden (Politologue).
Says Brian: “It’s a big day for me to put something other than winners on my CV. I’m lucky to have a horse like Waiting Patiently, but I’ve only got one of him, whereas other jockeys have 10 Grade One horses to ride.’
1.50 Ascot (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET 8pts win JANIKA
BULL’S-EYE BET 6.25pts win ARRIVEDERCI
2.10 Taunton (win 30, win 10 place)
BET 1.25pt win and 1.5pts place AL ROC
2.40 Haydock (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET 6.25pts win SMOOTH STEPPER
3.35 Ascot (win 20, nap)
BET 6.5pts win WAITING PATIENTLY
(5pt win double)
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