BACK-TO-BACK NAPS TO END THE YEAR: A mountain of money for Daqman’s nap made the original BETDAQ offers at around even money look good (again!) after the late run by Imperial Mountain got him up half a length at Lingfield yesterday. That ended the year on back-to-back strikes, taking the winning naps sequence to 11 out of 17 (that’s 64%).
WON 4-9 IMPERIAL MOUNTAIN (Friday nap)
WON 1-1 RAINYDAY WOMAN (Thursday nap)
12.0 BETS IN CHALLENGE TO PRICEWISE: What better way to start the new year than trials for the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham itself and a test at Fairyhouse for Daqman’s Grand National ante-post bet. Daqman leads Pricewise 15-12 in feature races, and has bets against him today at 12.0 twice.
TASTY TONIC ALLOWANCE
⭕ 12.15 Cheltenham Dan Skelton, who won this novices’ hurdle last year with Protektorat, will be hoping he has another massive improver in Get A Tonic (BETDAQ 4.2 taken).
Standing in the way of the mare’s Ballymore hopes for Cheltenham are I Am Maximus for Nicky Henderson and Hillcrest for Henry Daly, rated within a pound of each other off 129 and 128.
But Get A Tonic gets a 7lb mares allowance, though rated alongside the front pair in the market on 128.
Henderson won this race back in 2011 with a certain Bobs Worth, who grew up to be a Gold Cup winner. I Am Maximus, who won his maiden six lengths last month, had beaten Skelton’s My Drogo (now a 155 hurdler) in a bumper.
Hillcrest is a huge 18–hands beast, who is likely to play catch-me after making all at Wetherby. Get A Tonic beat a subsequent winner when scoring at Uttoxeter.
Doctor Ken beat Pull Again Green at Ascot before that one won easily at Newbury, and a jittery handicapper puts the five I’ve mentioned on 129, 128 (twice), 127 and 126, so I’ll have a drop of Tonic to set a gin trap with her allowance.
⭕ 1.25 Cheltenham (Dipper Novices Chase) Past winners have been near the front of the market though not the favourite.
But L’Homme Presse (BETDAQ 2.8) has a useful attribute; he has been taking lengths out of them at his fences, so Venetia Williams just had to put him to the test for Cheltenham at Cheltenham!
Millers Bank was Grade-1 placed over hurdles and The Glancing Queen, fifth in the Dawn Run at the festival, won a pair of Listed novice-chases in the autumn.
Come On Teddy’s narrow verdict at Uttoxeter last month over Fern Hill was let down at Newbury at the weekend.
SO IT’S GOODNIGHT VIENNA
⭕ 2.00 Cheltenham (New Year’s Day Chase) Coole Cody made most over the trip in the Winter Gold Cup over this New-course last month (good to soft) but today is his 11th birthday and you wouldn’t want to bet on a repeat in deeper ground.
Zanza, hampered and mistake before finishing second that day, is weighted to dead-heat now, and has cheekpieces for the first time. Another improver is Funambule Sivola.
He makes a fast getaway from his fences and likes to be in the van, but he has been hit for 31lb since he started a run of three out of four a year or so back.
However, the handicapper has him spot on through a line with Eldorado Allen, but the mud might hold the high-weights back.
Vienna Court was a long way behind Funambule Sivola early on last year but that was 2m; she is a stone better off and impressed the last day in a handicap over today’s CD..
Alnadam, progressive last season, has had six weeks off since a tough return at Haydock, supposedly because he’s needed soft-heavy.
Simply The Betts is 11lb better off with Coole Cody on Autumn Gold Cup form here last season. Both he and one-time Grade-1 winner Riders Onthe Storm could take a hand.
BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE value 12.0 Simply The Betts and Vienna Court
FIVE-WAY PHOTO FINISH
⭕ 2.20 Tramore (New Year’s Day Chase) Hard lines indeed for Willie Mullins if Gordon Elliott can stop a five-strong Closutton team with just one horse, who hasn’t won since a novice chase four Christmases back!
In fact, Elliottt’s Hardline is rated next best to Mullins’ likely odds-on favourite, Al Boum Photo, who is 12lb clear off 170 and won this race last year after an even longer break, before being placed in two Gold Cups.
⭕ 2.35 Cheltenham Pileon, runner-up in the Martin Pipe, is back to a similar mark here, and I shall look no further at 7.6 on BETDAQ.
ELIMAY TEST MOUNT IDA
⭕ 2.40 Fairyhouse (John Fowler Chase) Daqman’s 33-1 BETDAQ ante-post bet on Mount Ida for the Grand National has another test of sorts today.
Here she is stepping back up to a Grade 3 mares’ chase. This 2m 5f event is a teach-in of fencing agility for this winner of the Kim Muir (3m 2f) at the Cheltenham Festival.
But, in fact, the Yeats mare has already won a Listed at around this trip on her seasonal debut at Clonmel in November, and she won a Grade 3 as a novice back in December, 2020.
Her winning chase performances have come on good to soft, soft and heavy, and a further success here would have her in line for Cheltenham before Aintree.
She is tested under Davy Russell by Mark Walsh on Elimay, CD winner at the Fairyhouse festival in April. Though she is rated 155 to Mount Ida’s 152, the grey Elimay, a very smart CD winner, receives 3lb today because of the race conditions.
Put The Kettle On (Rachael Blackmore), known as a two-miler these days (Champion Chase winner at Cheltenham), is even higher up the scale (159) and won four consecutive 2m 4f or so chases in the summer of 2019.
Elimay, 9lb better off though she beat Mount Ida a couple of lengths here in April, seems to have the race made for her and those with a Grand National bet on Ida in their wallet will be happy with any improvement and a clean round of jumping at speed. Oh, and a cut in her Aintree odds!
DREAMS FORM BOOSTS
⭕ 3.10 Cheltenham (Relkeel Hurdle) Keep away from older horses in this but those at the double (like back-to-back winner of this Oscar Whisky) do well again.
That suggests McFabulous but he is neck-and-neck now with Brewinupastorm, 6lb better with that one for his five-and-a-lengths defeat in the National Spirit at Fontwell.
When they’re together in a heap, they usually finish in a heap, but one that could outgun the pair is the improver Guard Your Dreams (BETDAQ 4.5).
Unbeaten here at Cheltenham on goodish ground in two autumn races, though he scored on soft and heavy at this time a year or so ago.
Coole Cody, to whom he gave 5lb and a beating here in October, could give him a boost in the 2.00 race and Art Approval, fourth behind him in October, could stamp the form in the 2.35.
12.15 Cheltenham (win 10)
BET 3pts win GET A TONIC
1.25 Cheltenham (win 20, nap)
BET 7.50pts win L’HOMME PRESSE
2.00 Cheltenham (win 50 bull’s-eye, place 10)
BET 4.5pts win each SIMPLY THE BETTS, VIENNA COURT
2.10 Musselburgh (win 10)
BET 4pts win TOMMY’S OSCAR
2.35 Cheltenham (win 20)
BET 3pts win PILEON
3.10 Cheltenham (win 20)
BET 5.75pts win GUARD YOUR DREAMS
What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….
Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.