DAQMAN 220 POINTS UP ON PRICEWISE: Daqman extended his winners total over Pricewise of the Racing Post to 18-12 when he landed the Imperial Cup with Iceo at Sandown yesterday and also named the third.

He now leads on points by 219.70 to level stakes.

WON 5-1 ICEO Imperial Cup (Playful Saint 3rd 13-2 same race)

14 FORTUNE COOKIES FOR THE FESTIVAL: There were no surprise withdrawals from Friday’s Gold Cup yesterday and a total of 14 Fortune Cookies have survived the Cheltenham Festival declaration stages so far, with Daqman today picking his overall banker for the week.


FORTUNE COOKIES: Daqman today nominates Hermes Allen for Paul Nicholls as his banker of the festival at Cheltenham next week, which starts on Tuesday.

Hermes Allen runs in the Ballymore on the second day, Wednesday, with Nicholls going to the meeting with 10 winners in March already; 10-25 since the first of the month for a 40% strike rate.

He landed a double at Sandown yesterday with Iceo (Imperial Cup) and Larchmont Lad but Hugos New Horse was beaten, third, in the NH Novices Final to Crambo.

Crambo had pulled up in December’s Challow Hurdle at Newbury on the soft, won by Hermes Allen (‘soon went clear, eased, canter’ in the Raceform analysis). Hermes lived up to his mythology as the winged messenger alright.

Runner-up that day, Wear It Well, had won four races wrapped around the Challow. Passing Well (4th), Kilbeg King (6th) and Thomas Mor (pulled up) all won next time out, while Marble Sands (fifth) was also a prolific scorer with three either side of the Challow.

Hermes Allen, a £350,000 Irish point-to-point buy, was running in only his second hurdle when scoring at Cheltenham in November (good ground) before that champion Challow performance (soft) after a break.

AN TAILLIUR 2.10 Cheltenham, Thursday, Pertemps Final.
BLAZING KHAL 3.30 Cheltenham, Thursday, Stayers Hurdle.
BRAVEMANSGAME 3.30 Cheltenham, Friday, Gold Cup.
CORACH RAMBLER 2.50 Cheltenham, Tuesday, Ultima Chase
EDWARDSTONE 3.30 Cheltenham, Wednesday, Champion Chase.
EL FABIOLO 2.10 Cheltenham, Tuesday, Arkle Challenge Cup.
GALOPIN DES CHAMPS 3.30 Cheltenham Friday, the Gold Cup.
GREEN BOOK 2.10 Cheltenham, Thursday, Pertemps Final Hurdle.
HERMES ALLEN 1.30 Cheltenham, Wednesday, Ballymore Novices Hurdle.
HEWICK 3.30 Cheltenham Friday, the Gold Cup.
NOBLE YEATS 3.30 Cheltenham Friday, the Gold Cup.
PROTEKTORAT 3.30 Cheltenham Friday, the Gold Cup.
ROYALE PAGAILLE 3.30 Cheltenham Friday, the Gold Cup.
STATTLER 3.30 Cheltenham Friday, the Gold Cup.


⭕ 3.00 Warwick Likely soft ground and a 206 day break make me wary of Betdaq Betting Exchange favourite La Domaniale in the mares’ novices’ chase. Her three wins last year all came during the summer and were all on good ground.

The Jonjo O’Neill stable is also cold which is hardly ideal on the run up to Cheltenham with just 1 winner from their last 30 runners.

All that adds up to three potential negatives against a horse that was trading around 2.92 in mid-morning Sunday business.

A chance is taken with Haute Estime. I say a ‘chance’ as she has hardly been firing recently but the stable is … with 10 winners from their last 26 runners and Haute Estime is also a previous winner on soft. She was also pretty classy over hurdles with a highlight third in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

Midnight Mary is a model of consistency but even if the official ratings are only half believed she has a massive task in this company.


⭕ 4.17 Naas Honeysuckle to come of course next week but hopefully Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore can warm up nicely today with Journey With Me who looks the answer to this Grade 3 chase.

The seven-year-old relishes the testing ground and if anything this looks easier than the Grade 3 at Punchestown he contested last time out when narrowly beaten by the smart Impervious. The winner will be a short price to land the Grade 2 Mare’s Chase at Cheltenham next week.

Journey With Me was a course and distance winner over Christmas and should prove too strong for Limerick Lace who won a good handicap last time out over course and distance and is progressive but might just not have the class to beat today’s nap selection.


⭕ 4.52 Naas (Leinster National) As usual a hugely competitive renewal with the market likely to be headed by The Tack Room. Not for me though, he’s been put up 7lb for a narrow Fairyhouse win last time out but that still leaves him 4lb out of the handicap. Clearly you need to be wary of his connections and market support but if you’ve missed the early prices that boat really has sailed.

It looks a race to try and find something at a price and The Little Yank is the one for me for a low risk win and place return. He hasn’t had much experience over fences or indeed the trip which are negatives but does look capable of improvement off his current mark. He was a creditable third to Limerick Lace here last time out so we’ll get a form pointer after the 4.17pm race.

His chase win at Sligo last September (2m 5f) suggests he can see out this extra distance.


3.00 Warwick (win 10)

4.17 Naas (win 10, nap)

4.52 Naas (win 20 from win bet, win 10 from place bet)
BET 1.1pts win, 5pts place THE LITTLE YANK

What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….

Start with a bank and decide how much you can afford to lose over a period of time, and determine the size of your bets accordingly. Daqman makes this variation every day.

Did you know? DAQMAN’s tips are posted each and every day so he’s always on hand to help with your horse racing betting.

THE STRIKER Sun: Premier League Preview
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THE EDGE Sun: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians
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