DAQMAN LANDS SUPERNAP SPECIAL: Winner-a-day Daqman made it 14 in 11 days with a profit on the day of 9.95 yesterday when he landed his supernap with Minella Drama at Kelso.
WON 10-11 MINELLA DRAMA (supernap, from 2.58 on BETDAQ)
FULL FORM GUIDE TO THE BIG TWO: Two major races today and Daqman has them both previewed for you, with horse-by-horse form.
YESTERDAY Ascot Chase ratings and form
TODAY The Haydock Grand National Trial
PLAYING IT BY THE BOOK
⭕ 2.05 Haydock (Rendlesham Hurdle) Green Book landed the Grade-3 Pertemps qualifier at Sandown for FORTUNE COOKIES’ horses-to-follow.
Another one on the list, Ashtown Lad, who won the Becher Chase, keeps his Grand National mark intact with another run over hurdles. BETDAQ value 3.95 Green Book, 4.7 Ashtown Lad
⭕ 2.25 Ascot Favourites have failed for seven years now, and the value of Cap Du Nord’s form – second in the Great Yorkshire – is in question after the third horse, Elvis Mail, was cut adrift by Minella Drama yesterday.
The stand-out for me is Paul Nicholls’ Danny Kirwan, who has been put away for this big prize (winner £56,000) and the better ground after being runner-up in the Grade-3 London Gold Cup on this course in October.
Betdaq Betting Exchange 7.7 Danny Kirwan
⭕ 3.00 Ascot Nicholls again. He makes us pick between two – and, if we back one, we need a saver on the other.
Irish Hill (BETDAQ value 6.3) has not been out of the first three in nine starts since joining the yard but has to step up from class 3. Harry Cobden rides.
Samarive (offered 12.5), who won twice at Sandown last season, switches back from an inauspicious start to chasing, now chasing his hurdles reputation off a high mark. Freddie Gingell’s 7lb claim helps.
ASCOT PIC A RISING STAR
⭕ 3.35 Ascot Chase (preview Daqman Friday). Will the real Shishkin, who flopped last year, stand up again please? I doubt it.
Nicky Henderson switches his 10-wins-in-a-row former 2m champion to a longer trip after wind surgery in the hope that he can fly the flag again in the Ryanair (2m 4f+). I doubt it.
The Ryanair is today! Fakir D’Oudairies, Shishkin and Pic D’Orhy, who all run here, are three of the top five in the Cheltenham test.
Fakir d’Oudairies won this last year and ‘the new Frodon’ (my quotes) Pic D’Orhy – six out of seven still standing – is the rising star for Paul Nicholls and FORTUNE COOKIES.
It’s a tight race among the top three in most books, with 3.1 both Fakir D’Oudairies and Shishkin but for BETDAQ value 4.3 Pic D’Orhy with percentages totalling only 102%.
FONTAINE FLOWS IN TRIAL
⭕ 2.40 Haydock (Grand National Trial) POINTERS: Party Politics (1993) is often reported as the last winner of this to take the Grand National. In fact, he was fifth here before his National and won the Trial the following year.
Suny Bay (1997) was second in the National after taking this. In the decade, winners have gone on to be 6th, 12th and pulled up (twice) at Aintree.
1 Fontaine Collonges Venetia Wlliams has won this twice in nine years and gives herself three chances today.
This one, out of a Dom Alco sister to Grand National winner, Neptune Collonges, scored gamely when stepped up here at Haydock beyond 3m for the first time in November from the subsequent Welsh Grand National runner-up. Rain will help her cause.
2 Quick Wave If the ground remains good to soft, this London National winning stablemate of Fontaine Collonges could come into it. A third from the yard, Cloudy Glen, Kim Muir runner-up and Newbury Trophy winner in 2021 (Fortescue 7th), would also prefer good to soft.
3 Snow Leopardess Disappointing since Becher Chase win at Aintree in 2021 (8th this season) but led for a long way (6th) in the January cross-country at Cheltenham; second, no extra, coming to the last. Well handicapped and cheekpieces may help further revival.
4 Bristol de Mai Loves Haydock and won this race last year (Time To Get Up 2nd), completing a course hat-trick after the Peter Marsh and the Lancashire Chase (three times) all on this track. Four of these five were on soft-heavy ground.
5 Omar Maretti, 2-2 chases last year, but didn’t jump well in the Kim Muir. Carried head awkwardly on January return but well backed when the books for this opened.
First Lord Du Cuet Second four times when stepped up to around 3m. But David Pipe, who bought him for £85,000 in 2018, has yet to get his money back.
Grumpy Charley Pulled up three out of five; best form at Newbury.
Notachance His staying form is in the Warwick Classic (3m 5f), winning in 2021; only 8th last year but third, dropped 9lb, in the race this January.
Saint Xavier Bought as a National horse would have to win this and more to qualify and to get in. Haydock veterans’ chase winner.
Small Present A winner twice here, hurdles and fences. Kept on, third, in the Lincolnshire National at Market Rasen in December.
The Two Amigos Back to life to take the Welsh Grand National in December. Not won for four years over 17 races until that day, which suggests he is unlikely to repeat the Chepstow form in a hurry, now aged 11.
Tim Pat beat nothing well over the CD here at Haydock last March but a young horse with scope running into form and wears cheekpieces first time.
BETDAQ value 6.3 Fontaine Collonges, 17.5 Snow Leopardess, 24 Quick Wave
2.05 Haydock GREEN BOOK, ASHTOWN LAD
3.35 Ascot PIC D’ORHY
2.25 Ascot (nap)
BET 7.5pts win DANNY KIRWAN
BET 9.5pts win FONTAINE COLLONGES
BET 3pts win SNOW LEOPARDESS
BET 2pts win QUICK WAVE
3.00 Ascot (win 12 each)
BET 2.25pts win IRISH HILL
BET 1pt win SAMARIVE
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