33-1 SHOT THIRD IN 1,000-POINT TILT AT PRICEWISE: Daqman’s final Fortune Cookie of the Jumps season, Mister Malarky (3rd 33-1), ran a cracker at Kempton under claimer Harry Kimber, and earlier in the Eider Chase, Crossley Tender (2nd 11-2 from 7.3 on BETDAQ) led on the run-in at Newcastle but was just outstayed. A Malarky victory was intended to put Daqman a few points short of 1,000 against Pricewise.
A JONJO STING COULD MAKE THE HEADLINES TODAY: How the Triumph looks now. Daqman assesses the ratings for the four-year-olds title race at Cheltenham after the scintillating win by Tritonic in yesterday’s Adonis. Headlines:
🔹 WHY MULLINS MAY STEAL TRIUMPH
🔹 CANING LAYERS WITH SCHOOL BOY
🔹 FABULOUS FOR A FOURTH GRADE 2
🔹 GONDOFF COULD BE JONJO STING
WHY MULLINS MAY STEAL TRIUMPH
Signed and Aseeled? Willie Mullins may have the last laugh in the Triumph Hurdle, says Daqman, as he assesses the ratings after yesterday’s stunning victory for Tritonic.
Yes, Alan King could stave off the Irish invasion of two hot-pots trained by Gordon Elliott. Tritonic and Elliott’s numbr-one Zanahiyr both have potential ratings that usually win a Triumph.
But Mullins may yet play a trump card called French Aseel, one race one win.. Or rather, one race one procession!
148 TRITONIC (Alan King) Improved his one-length Ascot winning margin over Casa Loupi when he won the Adonis yesterday with his old rival 10 lengths back in second place, despite the step up to Graded level.
Trainer Alan King is going for his third Triumph Hurdle winner following Penzance (2005) and Katchit (2007), who was rated 144 going into the race and won the Champion Hurdle of 2008 off 159.
146 ZANAHIYR (Gordon Elliott) Elliott has also won the Triumph twice, the first time with Tiger Roll (only 130 in my book, after defeat at Leopardstown in his prep race).
Zanahiyr beat Saint Sam – then rated 132 – last November by an impressive 14 lengths, receiving 4lb. He was the equivalent same distance in front of Saint Sam at Leopardstown on Boxing Day before Sam (now rated 136) finished about six lengths off Quilixious on the same course recently.
142 QUILIXIOS (Gordon Elliott) Quixilios has won four in a row, but seems to be held by Zanahiyr through the yardstick Saint Sam.
Having the same yardstick may be a limitation since we know that Saint Sam has run six times over hurdles and has seemingly improved only 4lb.
It is a worry that his trainer, Willie Mullins, has two once-raced winners for the Triumph: French Aseel and Haut En Couleurs.
?147? FRENCH ASEEL (Willie Mullins) beat subsequently-125-rated Coltor by 22 lengths at Leopardstown in December. Haut En Couleurs has not raced in England or Ireland.
BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE ante-post: 3.7 Zanahiyr, 4.1 Tritonic, 7.7 Quilixios, 8.3 French Aseel.
CANING LAYERS WITH SCHOOL BOY
⭕ 2.30 Naas Normally a 3.35 favourite like School Boy Hours wouldn’t be much value in a handicap chase like this but, if you discard the two 10-year-olds, you’re already betting in an underround card, thanks to BETDAQ percentages.
Trainer Noel Meade has just won a Grade A chase with Daly Tiger (runs 2.00 today) and School Boy looks the form pick after the subsequent success here at Naas of the horse who beat him at Punchestown in December.
There’s nothing to choose between Enjoy d’Allen and Fully Charged on form lines through Lean Araig, and Home By The Lee – outclassed in the Drinmore – only just scrambled home at Limerick against Ministerforsport.
⭕ 3.00 Naas Echoes In Rain went well clear on this track in December before attempting to outrun six-wins-in-a-row Dreal Deal in the Moscow Flyer at Punchestown. Not a good idea.
The mare gets a lump of weight from Jesse Evans, whose success all came in the autumn on good ground, and Streets Of Doyen, whose form suggests that connections are right to aim at the 3m Albert Bartlett. Today is short of 2m.
FABULOUS FOR A FOURTH GRADE-2
⭕ 3.10 Fontwell (National Spirit Hurdle) Plans to go out with a final-fling 330-point-profit strike for the Fortune Cookies failed by just four lengths when Mister Malarky (3rd 33-1) could find nothing more on the run-in at Kempton yesterday.
McFabulous in this Grade-2 hurdle might have been a wiser choice for a fabulous finale.
He’s already won for us among three landed at Grade 2 level, including a bumper: his second Grade-2 hurdle which he won for the Cookies was the Relkeel at the January meeting at Kempton.
He beat the Nicky Henderson pair, On The Blind Side into second with Call Me Lord 14-lengths fourth.
Call Me Lord has had wind surgery since then but dropped 8lb behind McFabulous in the ratings, even playing catch-up to the Taunton handicap winner, Brewin’upastorm.
The Storm gets a few pounds under the race conditions but it doesn’t look enough, with McFabulous rated on a par with last season’s Fighting Fifth winner, Cornerstone Lad, who hasn’t won, hurdles or fences, since that day.
Molly Ollys Wishes has improved 23lb in a treble this winter from class 3 to Listed on soft-heavy. The mares’ allowance helps but drying ground may be against her.
GONDOFF COULD BE JONJO STING
⭕ 4.20 Hereford Bothwell Bridge was put in his place at Newbury by subsequent Challow Hurdle winner Bravemansgame, and I’m siding with Henry Gondoff.
He’s named like a cross between a Tolkien character and the Paul Newman con man (Henry Gondorff).
I know that Jonjo O’Neill is very keen on toppling the Nicky Henderson favourite and I’m hoping to Sting the layers at 3.65.
2.30 Naas (win 10)
BET 4.25pts win SCHOOL BOY HOURS
3.00 Naas (win 10)
BET 5.75pts win ECHOES IN RAIN
3.10 Fontwell (nap)
BET 10pts win McFABULOUS
4.20 Hereford (win 10)
BET 3.75pts win HENRY GONDOFF
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