BULL’S-EYE BETS FOR CESAREWITCH DAY: Three big races beckon Daqman to the oche today: the Cesarewitch and the Dewhurst at Newmarket, and the Sprint at York. He finds bets at 10.0 (twice), 12.0 and 15.0, and opens with a flying nap in the Zetland Stakes.
STAY WITH US FOR CHAMPIONS GALORE: Daqman leads Pricewise 50-38, with the last big betting weekend due in seven days’ time, British Champions Day, with previews in a daily countdown, starting tomorrow.
BROTHER! ZEUS TAKEN TO ZIP IN
⭕ 3.40 Newmarket (Cesarewitch) STATS ABC and form guide: See Daqman Thursday.
Willie couldn’t wait for Cheltenham. So the Mullins yard went fishing for the Cesarewitch. After testing the water for two or three years, they bagged the six-figure first prize three times in a row, including with Great White Shark, and now have a record in the race this decade of 5431112.
Mullins needs one more win to catch Nicky Henderson, who has had four; while Nicky relies on one horse, Willie runs three, with the best of British jockeys in their saddles.
Jason Watson, who was on two of those three Mullins winners, has the mount on the seven-year-old hurdler, Scaramanga (switched stables from Paul Nicholls).
1: BABY ZEUS William Buick, champion elect, rides Scaramanga’s stablemate Baby Zeus, full brother to Lagostovegas, winner of the Ascot Stakes and third in the Cesarewitch at the same age.
2: GIBRALTAR In-form Saffie Osborne has her second ever ride for the Mullins stable, claiming 3lb off late-improving Gibraltar, who switched from hurdles in June and won twice on the Flat on good ground.
3: AHORSEWITHNONAME The Henderson hope, ridden by Ryan Moore, has won four in a row on the Flat, two either side of hurdles places culminating in Mares Novice Hurdle runner-up at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.
Henderson says she has only two objectives: today’s race and the Mares Novices at Cheltenham again.
4: ZOFFEE Winner of the Northumberland Vase; only once out of the frame in six starts this year; has Frankie Dettori booked.
5: CALL MY BLUFF Sticking with the best jockeys who are also in peak form, I fancy Arc-winning-rider Luke Morris on Call My Bluff, third in the Cesarewitch trial.
You’d expect the hurdles heavyweights to come into it only on soft ground. Run For Oscar has just struck form over 2m on the Flat. Scaramanga seemed to be short of a finish in the Ascot Stakes, and his winning over hurdles at 2m 4f is no real help in deciding whether he can get this 2m 2f at Flat-racing speed at his age.
Betdaq Betting Exchange 5.5 Ahorsewithnoname, 10 Baby Zeus, 12 Gibraltar, 15 Zoffee, 21 Call My Bluff.
NOSTRUM IS THE RIGHT MEDICINE
⭕ 1.50 Newmarket (Zetland Stakes) Flying Honours will have been laid out for the Godolphin-sponsored 2yo test en route to the Futurity later in the month.
The tactical field and slow pace led to his being turned over at 7-2 on in the Royal Lodge when the four runners finished virtually in line. It means we have workable offers this morning: 9 for 10, slightly better, as I asked for evens.
⭕ 2.40 York, 4.50 Newmarket: William Haggas (138) is leading Charlie Appleby (126) numerically but the trainers’ title is decided on prizemoney won and he trails his archrival by £72,000, both over the £5m mark.
If Flying Honours has won for Appleby, I shall play up my winnings on what could be the Haggas best bets, Protagonist (2.40 York), who can turn around Cambridgeshire placings with Marching Army, and Pink Crystal (a tasty 8.5 on BETDAQ in the 4.50 Newmarket Listed).
Unplaced only once in 10 starts, she was a bit too far out of her ground to catch Gale Force Maya in the Scottish Sprint but still finished front of Tenaya Canyon.
⭕ 3.00 Newmarket (Dewhurst Stakes) The decent ground has helped Sir Michael Stoute decide to give Nostrum another race this season, as he prepares the unbeaten Kingman colt to add to the yard’s two Guineas winners at the turn of the century, which brought the Stoute score to five.
It’s a hot Dewhurst with six of the seven runners racing off a mark below the very high standards of Pinatubo (128) and Dawn Approach (115) but which put the Guineas in their range.
The Frankel colt, Chaldean, is the obvious danger, top-rated of the race, and winner of the Acomb and the Champagne.
Aesop’s Fables won the Curragh Futurity but was only fourth in the soft–ground
National Stakes. Naval Power is unbeaten but has to step up from Listed level. I took 3.3 Nostrum.
LUCKY-SIX THROW IN THE SPRINT
⭕ 3.15 York The amazing Gulliver’s bid for an interrupted hat-trick in this Sprint crashed out last year (he had an off day and was only 18th of 21) after his 2019-20 double.
He’s dropped 8lb since then but it’s his 74th race and he may be on the wrong side of the track, drawn 22.
There’s been only one winner from a stall higher than nine in the last nine years, and Popmaster (8) could take the low draw along with Dakota Gold (2).
Silver Samurai was winning here in August but didn’t quite have enough left to hold Summerghand. Not many horses do, when that one is in full flight.
Stall 7 today and 11lb better off with Lethal Nymph on Ascot form.
After scoring over today’s CD, Lucky Man ran fourth to Summerghand, finishing strongly, in the Ayr Gold Cup, and also looks handy from gate 6.
Of the high numbers, Mr Wagyu (15) could take them along. Bergerac (19) is back to form but a few pounds high; Hyperfocus (13) and Laugh A Minute (21), who was runner-up last year to the hooded Volatile Analyst, are usually thereabouts.
BETDAQ value 10.0 Lucky Man, 15.0 Silver Samurai
1.50 Newmarket (win 20 supernap)
BET 20pts win FLYING HONOURS
2.40 York (win 10)
BET 4pts win PROTAGONIST
3.00 Newmarket (win 20)
BET 10pts win NOSTRUM
3.15 York (win 50)
BET 5pts win LUCKYMAN
BET 3.25pts win SILVER SAMURAI
3.40 Newmarket (2 x win 50 and win 12)
BET 5pts win BABY ZEUS
BET 5pts win GIBRALTAR
BET 2.5pts win AHORSEWITHNONAME
4.50 Newmarket (win 12)
BET 1.6pts win PINK CRYSTAL
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