ARE YOU A BETDAQ VALUE INVESTOR? DAQMAN RECOMMENDS IT: It’s another special Saturday for punters with no commission and good ground for the Fighting Fifth, Gerry Fielden, Rehearsal Chase and Ladbrokes Trophy, second only to the Grand National for quality stayers but first in line this year after the loss of Aintree. Headlines:
🔹 EPATANTE RATES NAP OF THE DAY
🔹 THE RESULT IS BLACK AND WHITE
🔹 I’M A BETDAQ VALUE INVESTOR..
🔹 PYM PICK ON HIS PERFECT RECORD
🔹 RIGHT RACE FOR MOONLIGHTER
TOMORROW: Grade-1 treble at fabulous Fairyhouse.
EPATANTE RATES NAP OF THE DAY
⭕ 2.05 Newcastle (Fighting Fifth Hurdle) Epatante (pictured) has to face a field of Champion Hurdle quality, with three against her here rated 159 (Cornerstone Lad), Sceau Royal (158) and Silver Streak (also on 158).
Silver Streak, sixth in their Cheltenham title clash in March on soft, has just the one chance to turn around the form with fitness advantage on his preferred good ground. And that’s today.
Sceau Royal has won the Welsh Champion Hurdle and the Elite at Wincanton in the last six weeks and will be a bigger danger than Cornerstone Lad, who goes well fresh but is a mudlark.
There was a huge contingent of top-class animals in special gallops at Newbury last week, seen by more touts and pro punters than the public that get near a racecourse!
I’ve had reports of Epatante’s gallop variously described as ‘fast as a sprint’ and ‘imperious.’ She was a shade better than even money on BETDAQ this morning, which rates her the nap.
THE RESULT IS BLACK AND WHITE
⭕ 2.25 Newbury (Gerry Fielden) Thyme White tests the so-called ‘Second Epatante’ for me here at a price. That’s Marie’s Rock, stablemate of last year’s winner and champion hurdler who earlier goes for the Fighting Fifth.
Thyme White won a 4yo hurdle on good ground the last day, and should safely hold runner-up, The Pink’Un, on the revised terms.
The Pink’n was then unable to cope with Botox Has at Cheltenham, the pair of them turning over Allmankind in his hurdles prep for a superb win first time over fences
On collateral form, there won’t be much between Botox Has and Thyme White now but the Nicholls horse was so fluent that I booked him for this Fortune Cookies test, and must be the value this morning at 8.7 BETDAQ Betting Exchange.
Botox Has is conceding weight and the unbeaten mare Marie’s Rock has no special allowance.
But she already has her black type, and Nicky Henderson rates her ‘hopefully top class’, with an ‘enormous engine.’
Milkwood, fourth in the Welsh Champion Hurdle, should also go well but I rate Thyme White and Marie’s Rock in front of her until I know different.
I’M A BETDAQ VALUE INVESTOR..
⭕ 3.00 Newbury (Ladbrokes Trophy) A strong young 3m-plus chaser with Newbury form who likes good ground and is with a trainer who knows how to win this race. Copperhead fits the bill from my on-the-day examination of the race, adding more facts, form and the state of the ground to my ABC guide.
1️⃣ COPPERHEAD Came out on top in my stats indicators with a full house (ABC guide, Daqman Wednesday). The only course and distance winner in the race when he won the Mandarin as he pleased last Christmas and, with his stable back to form, gets a confident vote from Colin Tizzard, while son Joe reminds us that Mister Malarky looked the likely winner jumping the second last a year ago.
2️⃣ SECRET INVESTOR Another top-of-the-ground performer, travelled strongly here in the Denman in February, runner-up to former Gold Cup hero, Native River. Secret Investor is by the sire of the 2011 winner of this, Carruthers (when the race was the Hennessy). The boosting of his Chepstow form means he’s 3lb well in today.
3️⃣ KILDISART Daryl Jacob prefers to ride Sceau Royal at Newcastle, but Nico De Boinville switches from his own previous mounts to partner this Ultima runner-up, 3lb better now for a neck with the winner, The Conditional.
The Conditional was second in the Trophy last year, with Vinndication fourth. Of these three, Kildisart is the one who appreciates the good ground.
4️⃣ AYE RIGHT Unexposed at a trip, he is by Yeats out of a mare by Presenting, who is joint leading sire of winners of this race. Prepped with a solid third to Cyrname and Vinndication in the Charlie Hall. Would be the first Scottish-trained winner since 1979.
BETDAQ value verdict: If I back Copperhead (15.0), I have to have something on stablemate Mister Malarky (20.0). Kildisart’s abandonment by Daryl Jacob is a worry, and with Aye Right you are guessing about the trip. I’m left thinking Secret Investor the each-way bet of the race at 9.9.
PYM PICK ON HIS PERFECT RECORD
⭕ 3.15 Newcastle (Rehearsal Chase) Beware The Bear, winner of this near-3m Listed chase in 2017 for Nicky Henderson, will just be finishing his Ladbrokes Trophy bid about now!
Nicky is determined to win today’s race again, with front-runner Pym, ridden by the in-form Daryl Jacob, and Brave Eagle both well backed. Brave Eagle, himself, was down the field in the Ladbrokes Trophy a year ago.
He went to Newbury after back-to-back wins from 2m 4f to 3m 2f, but that was in the summer of 2019 and blinkers are apparently needed to try to revitalise him today.
Whatmore has won only a small-field novice chase but, after third and fourth in top-class chases, he was the gamble in the Autumn Gold Cup at Ascot, just run out of it by old-timer Regal Encore.
Last year’s Rehearsal winner was Takingrisks on heavy ground but he had won the Scottish National on good ground the previous April. Up in the weights but wind surgery might give him another lease of life.
The Butcher Said is given a decent handicap mark but needs to sharpen up his jumping and his stable’s strike rate has weakened. Definitely Red has headgear back on, after a moderate return in the Charlie Hall.
Pym claimed two notable scalps in Imperial Aura and If The Cap Fits, either side of modest efforts on soft ground.
The market is a good guide, with Pym’s record as favourite 1221211, and he was 9-4 when he turned over the odds-on If The Cap Fits. I took 4.9 this morning.
RIGHT RACE FOR MOONLIGHTER
⭕ 3.35 Newbury (Ladbrokes Handicap Chase) Moonlighter (BETDAQ 3.6) is down in grade and dropped back to his winning trip. Showed his liking for good ground when keeping up the gallop in the Haldon Gold Cup and resisting the smart Greaneteen until the run-in.
Zanza would be described as a masochist if we thought he made his own entries. He has been beaten in consecutive races by Saint Roi, Eldorado Allen and Allmankind, an absolute firing squad of talent .
The King Of May has won three times on good to soft, and doesn’t have to show much improvement to get involved. Nico De Boinville booked.
The Russian Doyen is in and out and pulled up twice in his last three starts but longer trips maybe didn’t suit on soft ground. He was 1011 over the minimum before experimenting with distance, and blinkers first time may help in today’s recovery mission.
2.05 Newcastle (win 20 supernap)
BET 20pts win EPATANTE
FORTUNE COOKIE early bird
BET 10pts win THYME WHITE
BET 5pts (to win 10) MARIE’S ROCK
3.00 Newbury (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET 5.5pts win SECRET INVESTOR
BULL’S-EYE BET 3.25pts win COPPERHEAD
BULL’S-EYE BET 2.25pts win MISTER MALARKY
3.15 Newcastle (win 20)
BET 5pts win PYM
3.35 Newbury (win 10)
BET 4pts win MOONLIGHTER
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