Reading Time: 8 mins

ARKLE WINNER WAS ALREADY IN DAQMAN’S NOTEBOOK: Daqman scored a double whammy on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival when he napped Notebook (pictured) for the Leopardstown Arkle to win 20 points with an additional return of 25 points on the same horse as a pre-selected Fortune Cookie. His three winners on the day included two out of three for the Cookies, which are showing a profit for the fourth consecutive season. A third runner yesterday was third at 8-1, and there are three more today.

WON 5-4 NOTEBOOK (Irish Arkle Chase nap and Fortune Cookie)
WON 6-4 GREANETEEN (Scottish Champion Chase)
WON 8-11 HONEYSUCKLE (Irish Champion Hurdle Fortune Cookie)

🏇 EASYWORK 1.55 Leopardstown
🏇 BATTLEOVERDOYEN 3.00 Leopardstown
🏇 DELTA WORK 3.30 Leopardstown

KEMBOY HEADS IRISH GOLD CUP GUIDE AND ‘ORDER IN’: Notebook put Daqman 414 points in front of Pricewise of the Racing Post as they square up for today’s Irish Gold Cup on the second day of the Leopardstown festival. Daqman analyses each gold-cup runner and presents them as his Order In for the race.

DAQMAN ACCOUNTS UPDATE NH: November 10 to January 31
📈 Daqman 29, Pricewise 13 (+293.40 to -121.00) 10pt stakes at SP
📈 Bull’s-eye bets: 37% (+203.40 from 10-27) staked to win 50
📈 Bulls-eye naps: 0% (-12.00 from 0-1) (2019: 47% +249 from 8-17)
📈 All Daily Naps 44% (+27.84 from 35-80) 10pt stakes at SP
📈 Supernaps 52% (+40.69 from 11-21) 20pt stakes at SP
📈 Fortune Cookies 60% (+10.12 from 3-5) 20pt stakes at SP
📈 Bull’s-eye naps accounted on an annual basis; all others seasonal


Cheltenham choice of honeypot. It would have taken just six minutes of your time on Wednesday to read Daqman’s column with the Honeysuckle story.

And just a few seconds more to follow the headline and take some of the 7.0 Honeysuckle in the BETDAQ exchange, ante-post for the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle. Will she now run?

Her dramatic Irish Champion Hurdle victory yesterday was her seventh in a row, but – like Notebook in the Arkle – it was close. Unlike Notebook, she could not find that decisive extra surge.

My opinion is that the tougher track at Cheltenham will boost the chances of this 2m 4f winner, who hardly had time to change gear when a late challenge came after she went clear.

Honeysuckle is still 7.0 in the BETDAQ listings this morning, with a backstop 2.5 for the Mares Hurdle, which is the 2m 4f race after the Champion Hurdle on the same day.

The Daqman strategy is to bet at value odds to win a fixed amount or save (to cover your main stake) on the danger to your principal bet. So stick to your ante-post bet until an announcement as to choice of race.

If you were owner or trainer of Honeysuckle, you would wait until nearer the day, when opposition plans are clearer, before coming to a decision.

If you were lucky enough to get early ante-post odds about Notebook for the Cheltenham Arkle, you are now sitting at the top of the pile! Second and third favourites are horses he has already beaten.

You are now in a position to lay off a portion of your potential winnings, at least to cover your principal stake so you are in a can’t-lose situation. Again, it’s a waiting game.

One or both of Fakir d’Oudairies and Cash Back might come out, in which case you might get your insurance cover with an even-money or odds-on lay!


3.30 Leopardstown (Irish Gold Cup) See past records and stats preview in Wednesday’s Daqman Archive. Official ratings at left of runners in Daqman’s order in here.

177 Kemboy-1 (Willie Mullins) A run of six winning chases in a row, including the Savills Chase and the Punchestown Gold Cup. was interrupted when he failed to get past the very first fence in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last March.

He got his revenge on the Gold Cup winner, Al Boum Photo, in winning the Punchestown gold, but failed to double up in the Savills on his return and now seeks revenge on that winner, too: Delta Work.

Fresh and keen early, he almost committed the Cheltenham error when awkward over the first, and the way he dropped out, fourth, when taking second at the last suggested he needed the race.

169 Delta Work-2 (Gordon Elliott) Hood and tongue-tie are offputting but has shot 17lb clear of his hurdles form (Pertemps Final winner), as hat-trick winner over fences (including the Drinmore of 2018) and then last year RSA third at Cheltenham and Punchestown Champion Novice.

The youngest horse in today’s race, he beat today’s nearest rivals in the market when taking the Savills Chase (3m Leopardstown December) on today’s ground.

160 Chris’s Dream-3 (Henry De Bromhead) Leopardstown, Cheltenham, then Aintree. That’s the plan but this Navan specialist (won the Troytown in November) has no form to speak of on any championship course. This is his big chance.

158 Anibale Fly (Tony Martin) Big handicap winner at the 2016 Punchestown Festival (hurdles) and on the 2017 Christmas card at Leopardstown (Graded chase); second and third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018 and 2019, and fourth and fifth in the last two Aintree Grand Nationals.

An extraordinary nearly horse who’s won almost three times as much for places as he has for winning. Beaten a total of 127 lengths in two December runs back.

Won third time out in 2017 and third run again in 2019 – his second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – but it’s asking a lot to bounce back here on his way to a third Grand National!

167 Presenting Percy (Patrick Kelly) Nine-year-olds have won four of the last six of these gold cups, and Percy appears to be their leading representative today, though his success has come mainly in deep ground.

Has failed to live up to his RSA victory at Cheltenham 2018, scoring only once since (in the Galmoy Hurdle). Down the field in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and not-fluent fifth behind Delta Work (won) and Kemboy (4th) in the Savills just after Christmas.

166 Bellshill (Willie Mullins) Last year’s winner of this when the field cut up to just four runners, fighting it out with Road To Respect as the top two rated that day.

One-time RSA placed at Cheltenham and winner of the 2018 Punchestown Gold Cup from Djakadam. Beaten a total of 53 lengths in last two starts by stablemate Kemboy and Delta Work.

160 Cadmium (Willie Mullins) Graded-chase winner twice at Punchestown who takes this path, and Cheltenham, too, on his way to the Aintree Grand National, as winner of the Topham Trophy over the National fences in April. One (poor) run back since.

147 La Bague Au Roi (Warren Greatrex) Failed to emerge from the novice stage after four straight chase wins, completed here a year ago. Three consecutive places below top class has seen her rating drop below 150 for the first time since before Cheltenham 2018.

Despite a run of missing strike, trainer Greatrex brought back another good novice from a similar slump when Bob Mahler won the Edinburgh National yesterday.

155 Jett (Jessica Harrington) Along with Kemboy (4th), Presenting Percy (5th), Bellshill and Anibale Fly (both tailed off), Jett was beaten 12 lengths (6th) when Delta Work won the Savills.

Has captured chases in Grade 2 (Fairyhouse) and Grade 3 (Punchestown) but his rating hasn’t changed much in seven starts now, and he’s a once-a-year winner.


12.55 Leopardstown (mares handicap hurdle, 2m 2f Grade B) See past records and stats preview in Wednesday’s Daqman Archive

Gavin Cromwell was proved more than justified in running Darver Star in the Irish Champion Hurdle yesterday, just half a length down on Honeysuckle at the line.

He warned BETDAQ readers before the race that the Royal Bond third to Envoi Allen had the Cheltenham championship in his sights, a race the stable won last year with the ill-fated Espoir d’Allen.

There was 50 Darver Star for the Champion in the BETDAQ Sportsbook this morning. Also 50-1 with Ladbrokes and Corals but 20-1 with four bookies in a row on Oddschecker.

There was another warning in Cromwell’s BETDAQ column. Of Jeremy’s Flame in this opener on Day 2 of the Dublin Racing Festival, I remember these words: ‘We’re quietly hoping she might be a Graded horse in a handicap.’ I took 8.0 in the BETDAQ orange.

1.25 Leopardstown (4-y-o juvenile hurdle, 2m) See past records and stats preview in Wednesday’s Daqman Archive

Henry De Bromhead has a mighty impressive four-year-old here, including over the Leopardstown CD on Boxing Day. Aspire Tower seems unlikely to be beaten.

Winners of this have produced a winner, four seconds and two thirds in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

But, if the second favourite Cerberus, gets close today, be warned of the boost to Allmankind, who ran away from him in the Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.

Wolf Prince (‘more a Fred Winter type’) was well adrift of Aspire Tower on Boxing Day but beat Hammersmith at Fairyhouse afterwards. Never Do Nothing is a steady improver.


1.55 Leopardstown (2m novice hurdle, Grade 1) See past records and stats preview in Wednesday’s Daqman Archive

This produced three Supreme Novice winners in seven seasons and all the rage today is Easywork, another who romped home for Gigginstown over 2m 4f at Christmas.

The form has not been boosted but Easywork had earlier beaten today’s second favourite, Mt Leinster, at Gowran Park.

Willie Mullins, 6-10 in this race, and responsible for all three of those Supreme winners, fields three against Gigginstown in this trial, so it’s unlikely to be easy work.

Asterion Forlonge, sold out of Pat Doyle’s care for £290,000, has looked more for the Ballymore or Albert Bartlett but is rapidly improving and worth a flutter at 6.8 this morning to put some heat under the Fortune Cookie. All depends on the pace.

2.30 Leopardstown (3m Grade B handicap hurdle) See past records and stats preview in Wednesday’s Daqman Archive

Column Of Fire is a laid-back sort who ‘could be anything’ with this step up to 3m. Well backed this morning to see off Pertemps Qualifier form here over Christmas, when Treacysenniscorthy beat Stacks Mountain (3rd) and Tout Est Permis (4th).

3.00 Leopardstown (2m 5f novice chase, Grade 1) See past records and stats preview in Wednesday’s Daqman Archive

Faugheen seems back to his brilliant best but his CV says he can suddenly be a let-down and, at 12, faces a dramatic improver in Battleoverdoyen, and Easy Game’s form has been boosted sky high with Alaho’s subsequent Fairyhouse victory after their one-two here at Leopardstown at Christmas.

We keep saying this, but this is the race of the meeting so far. Until the next one (the Gold Cup; see above)


4.00 Leopardstown Chase (2m 5f) Seven winners in the decade carried below 11st. The Daqman roll of honour is Seabass (WON 7-1) and Empire Of Dirt (WON 8-1), both thrown in on the day. I wish I could be that confident this afternoon.

Last Goodbye won it in 2018 and shot up to an impossible 149 rating as a result. Down to 137 again now but youngsters (six and seven year olds 4-5) usually win.

Martin Pipe runner-up Dallas Des Pictons has a good looking mark but very little chasing experience. Jessica Harrington won last year but Moonshine Bay has had a long lay-off.

At The Acorn has been given a 15lb whacking by the handicapper, fearful of Tony Martin’s skills.

The Caddy Rose has a fabulous pedigree, and four of the last seven winners have been claimed off. I reckon that one at a crazy 72.0 on BETDAQ as a wild-card outsider and – more of an ace in the pack – Dallas Des Pictons (11.0) are ‘hidden horses’. No luck today and it could be my Last Goodbye (44.0).


12.55 Leopardstown (win 50 bull’s-eye bet)

1.25 Leopardstown (win 10 at 9.0, place win 5)
BET 1.25pts win and 5pts place CERBERUS

1.55 Leopardstown (win 10)

2.30 Leopardstown (win 30)
BET 6.25pts win COLUMN OF FIRE

3.00 Leopardstown (win 20)

3.30 Leopardstown (win 20)
BET 12pts win KEMBOY

4.00 Leopardstown (win 50 bull’s-eye bets, place win 10))
BET 1.2pts win and place LAST GOODBYE
BET 0.75pts win and 1.25pts place THE CADDY ROSE

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