3-1 AND 5-2 CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR DAQMAN PROFITS: Daqman finished in front for the second day running, thanks to Christmas (WON 5-2) yesterday, following Knight Errant (WON 3-1) on Thursday.
IT’S A WORLD CUP! TAKE THE BETDAQ VALUE OFFERS: The are four teams today for the Shergar Cup: GB and Ireland, The Girls, Europe and Rest of the World.
Here’s how Daqman’s winners by jockey give the verdict to Rest Of The World. Check out the bets in his analysis below.
1.05 Ascot YUTAKA TAKE (Rest Of The World) 9.0 BETDAQ
1.40 Ascot HAYLEY TURNER (The Girls) 7.0 BETDAQ
2.15 Ascot JOAO MOREIRA (Rest of The World) 6.0 BETDAQ
2.50 Ascot YUTAKA TAKE (Rest Of The World) 6.6 BETDAQ
3.25 Ascot JOAO MOREIRA (Rest of The World) 15.0 BETDAQ
4.00 Ascot HAYLEY TURNER (The Girls) 6.6 BETDAQ
CHEVAL THE HORSE FOR THE DASH
1.05 Ascot (Shergar Cup Dash): Rare (1-10) to have an older horse, over five, win this. Five out of six have been drawn 7 or higher.
El Astronaute has been out of the first four only once in 12 races but has never won quite this high in the handicap: 5lb worse off with the winner, Foolaad, from a Pontefract handicap in the Spring.
Tis Marvellous hasn’t scored since the Robert Papin more than two years ago, and never over the bare minimum, though ran a cracker here in the Wokingham (fourth).
Gracious John, 10lb higher than for his last success, was fifth (Evergate second) over CD in June, whereas Line Of Reason is 10lb lower than when second in this Dash two years ago, his only Ascot appearance in 77 starts.
Contrast with Sir Robert Cheval, whose tenth Ascot appearance this is (form there 002013220). Beaten in the final strides for the Dash last year, and prepared exclusively for another try today. BETDAQ 9.0 taken.
FORM SAYS IT’S FLYER FOR HAYLEY
1.40 Ascot (Shergar Cup Stayers) Similarly, rare for an older horse over five to win this (1-10).
Yutaka Take took it for Ian Williams in 2011 but today is allotted to Hassle, while the Williams pair have Gerald Mosse and Hayley Turner in the saddle.
Hassle is a hurdler these days but ran well on the Flat in the marathon Ascot Stakes, finishing just in front of Cleonte. Mosse on Stars Over The Sea may be helped by a first-time hood.
Hayley’s mount, Byron Flyer, was runner-up in this stayers’ race last year, beaten only a neck, with his conqueror, Euchen Glen, having a smashing season this year, winner twice, including the John Smith’s Cup. BETDAQ 7.0 taken.
COURSE HOLDS THE KEY TO KOEMAN
2.15 Ascot (Shergar Cup Challenge): Eight out of 10 winners of the Shergar Cup Challenge have been drawn in the hot stalls group 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9, again mostly aged four and five (8-10).
Andrasch Starke switches to Theglasgowwarrior, following the defection of Reshoun. ‘Warrior’ is five times a winner this year but stepping up in class today.
Eddystone Rock has won once in his last 22 starts, and that over shorter. Majeed was back to form on the last day for the first time in around two years.
Humble Hero has tried cheekpieces for his last two starts; now it’s blinkers. Not an appealing sort, failing to respond to the aids.
And Machine Learner, who tends to get behind, is dropping back to his old winning trip after scoring over further on the last day.
So I’ll stick with Koeman, who has been winner and second over this Ascot CD this year. BETDAQ 6.0 taken.
MEDAHIM COULD BE A MILE AHEAD
2.50 Ascot (Shergar Cup Mile): For the fourth time today, the stats bias is to horses aged four and five (9-10). One of the four-year-olds is Bless Him.
If you’re wondering why the 2017 Britannia winner hasn’t done much since, the answer is that it was a rubbish race. The first six home in this prestigious handicap have all failed to score in England since.
If that switches you on to Via Serendipity, then I have to tell you that the exact same thing has happened to his Sandown handicap win in June. None of the first six has won since.
But he must still have a say in this on his fourth in the International Stakes here at Ascot last month.
Fire Brigade (after two wind ops) and What’s The Story should go well. ‘Story’ was fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup and sixth in the John Smith’s.
Medahim looks value for his 5lb rise, since the runner-up won before and after the race, and Poet’s Society, who finished well behind, got within half a length of taking the Golden Mile at Goodwood. BETDAQ 6.8 taken.
15.0 LOOKS BIG FOR HIDDEN HORSE
3.25 Ascot (Shergar Cup Classic): The last eight winners of the Shergar Cup Classic have been drawn 5, 6, 7, 8.
It’s a longish handicap, so the good, the bad and the ugly – and Sergio Leone – are in there somewhere.
Sergio’s trainer, Richard Hannon, has won this twice, and both Mark Johnston (also two wins in the decade) and jockey Gerald Mosse know how to take this prize.
Mosse’s mount, Bayshore Freeway, and Gossip Column (four wins out of six this year) should make this a strong pace. I wonder whether dual Chester winner Gossip Column will stay interested on this open track.
If Koeman wins earlier, it’s a pointer to Bajan Gold, who was just a neck behind him over the Ascot CD last month.
Berkshire Blue is a hidden horse. After winning his prep race 11 lengths, he was out of his depth in a Group 3. A bit of win and place in a tough contest. BETDAQ 15.0 taken.
DOES GEORGE HAVE HEART FOR IT?
4.00 Ascot (Shergar Cup Sprint) This is a class 3 race posing as a class 2. Only Tangled has won at this level, and he’s been out of form.
It could be argued that Snazzy Jazzy’s Curragh Sales race success from. a big field was a classy affair but it was run on soft-heavy.
Consequences is better off with Shaheen from their one-two in a level 4 at Doncaster in June but Shaheen has gone on from there, and his form is now 12121, after scoring in a higher grade on the last day. Consequences hasn’t.
George of Hearts and Roundhay Park probably have the best recent form in wide open spaces, George running well in three consecutive Ascot races, but all over further (7f and 1m).
Roundhay Park is massively better off with Shaheen on Pontefract form and won at Ripon, then finished third in a big field over the July Course.
Hard to choose between them. George Of Hearts has won only his maiden, always a bad sign, so it’s a worry whether he has the heart for it! I took 6.6 Roundhay Park.
AGROTERA TRIBUTE TO GREAT TRAINER
2.30 Haydock (Dick Hern Stakes) My first house was renamed Troy House. Thanks to the Galloping Major!
Three-year-olds can make it seven in a row this year via Agrotera (BETDAQ 2.74), impressive in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot, the race already having thrown up a Listed winner.
3.40 Haydock (Lester Piggott 70th Anniversary Handicap)They named a ballet dancer after his Derby winner Nijinsky (!) Still light on his feet, aged 82.
Not the dancer, not the horse, but Lester, who rode his first winner, The Chase, here on this day, and is guest of honour on the Lancashire track this afternoon..
It would be appropriate for David Egan (Mountain Angel, 5.0) to win it as the rising star rider of the race.
DAQMAN’S SHERGAR CUP (all to win 20)
1.05 Ascot SIR ROBERT CHEVAL (2.5pts)
1.40 Ascot BYRON FLYER (3.25pts)
2.15 Ascot KOEMAN (4pts)
2.50 Ascot MEDAHIM (3.5pts)
3.25 Ascot BERKSHIRE BLUE (1.4pts win and place)
4.00 Ascot ROUNDHAY PARK (3.5pts)
SUPERNAP: 20pts win AGROTERA (2.30 Haydock)
BET 5pts win MOUNTAIN ANGEL (3.40 Haydock)
3.05 Haydock BROROCCO
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