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WINNER FLOWS AT LAST: DAQMAN TAKES 6-2 LEAD OVER PRICEWISE After the frustration of Our Power (3RD 10-1) and Third Wind (2ND 6-1) yesterday, Daqman scored with his last bet, First Flow (WON 3-1 from BETDAQ 5.9), to take a 6-2 lead over Pricewise of the Racing Post.

THERE COULD BE A MONKSFIELD IN TODAY’S NAVAN NOVICE HURDLE Today he takes a close look at the Navan novice hurdle for would-be Monksfields but has another tilt at Pricewise as the Post man insists on jousting at Exeter (1.33 and 2.43). Bring it on!


⭕ 12.10 Navan (Monksfield Novice Hurdle) When I turn to its breeding to try to help me assess a horse in a race, I think of Monksfield. And despair!

You’d have been put right off the dual Champion Hurdle winner when you’d seen that his grandsire was Native Dancer, who was the damsire of Northern Dancer, literally the daddy of them all on the Flat, whose offspring included such Classic stars as Nijinsky, Sadlers Wells and The Minstrel.

Even Monksfield’s dam was daughter of a Derby winner, Tulyar. So he was a country singer born of an operatic family. Surely he had missed his vocation!

But Monksfield is one of the legends of jumps racing in a golden age of hurdlers. Monksfield, Sea Pigeon and Night Nurse shared the honours for three seasons in regular full-blooded rivalry which was a joy to watch and set the Jumps on a TV pedestal in the late 1970s.

Nearly 40 years on, Death Duty (2016), who won this Monksfield Novice Hurdle, would complete a hat-trick over hurdles, then another one over fences, including the Drinmore.

He was one of four winners in the last six seasons for Gordon Elliott, who could make it five out of seven today with Farouk d’Alene, unbeaten successively in Point, bumpers (two) and his maiden hurdle.

Gordon has the back-up of the consistent Fakiera, who won at Fairyhouse last month, with their biggest rival likely to be Fire Attack, beaten only a head (albeit receiving 3lb) by Farouk d’Alene in a bumper in February.

Trying to spoil the party will be the massive grey Lieutenant Command, just now getting into his stride, and Champagne Gold, ‘a fine looking chaser in the making,’ says Henry De Bromhead.

Quite a race honouring quite a horse, and possibly apt that Farouk is a word meaning ‘judge’. He gets my verdict at a shade over evens on the BETDAQ Betting Exchange


⭕ 1.33 Exeter Why has David Pipe suddenly turned the corner this year? One reason is Main Fact and another, Francis Gillard (7).

Put them together and you have Gillard landing the seven-year-old’s most important of seven consecutive victories yesterday, a Grade 3 at Haydock, which could shoot him up the handicap 50lb this year.

I couldn’t personally back Rathlin Rose in this today but I can no longer dismiss Pipe, as I have done for the last four seasons.

What to do about Jonjo? That’s another problem altogether, still insoluble. How can you assess the trainer of Cobolobo, coming into this race with stable form-figures 1P2PP10PF?

As the Racing Post comments of the horse itself: ‘Cobolobo (10PP23UP10P) is too inconsistent to trust.’ You can say that again..

The problem with Crossley Tender and From The Heart is that they are too consistent to trust! Which one will land the hat-trick? Which one will go over the top? Or will both?

I’ve lost a lot of faith in P Hobbs and R Johnson. Hobbs did a Jonjo yesterday with P1PP0 across the cards at Haydock and Huntingdon.

Johnson’s record in chases continues a worry (see last week when I got Gumballed!). He is currently 23032320FP13P over fences, missing strike badly, and From The Heart’s recent success has all come on top of the ground.

Crossley Tender (BETDAQ 5.3) is up in the handicap, but he is the stayer of the two, and his jockey today, Tom O’Brien, has just won a major race, the Autumn Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Coole Cody.

Winning Wincanton novice, Putdecashonthedash, may need the run back, and Butterwick Brook needs to improve his jumping, while Rebel Royal has to improve; full stop.


⭕ 2.08 Exeter Saint De Vassy is still a maiden but is sure to be backed, with Tom Symonds’ last three runners all winning, including a smooth performance by Song For Someone to capture the Coral Hurdle at Ascot yesterday.

Dual chase winner in France on deep ground, Frero Banbou showed up well over hurdles on his first run for Venetia Williams in England. BETDAQ 6.4 this morning.

Golden Whisky put up some good performances last year at this time, third to Simply The Betts at Chepstow and winning over further in the mire of Ffos Las.

But his trainer, Evan Williams, is struggling for form, missing strike badly with 15 placed second and third among 2-51.

Solar Impulse is consistent – I mean, consistently moderate – but is entitled to get involved, if a bit high in the handicap and 10 years old now.

With the stable just now reaching some form, Equus Millar could win again soon but has scored only on a sound surface. His form on soft is 4004.

Night Of Sin remains out of form and Keep Moving made no impression recently in a race he’d won the previous year. Mine’s A Pint has had a good autumn but over further.


⭕ 2.43 Exeter The money this morning was for Cobra Angel and Trans Express, who was a dual winner on today’s course 10-12lb higher in 2018-19 but over further.

When you consider that Cobra Angel is a maiden, most recently 28-1, 66-1, 80-1 and 100-1 in the market, the money is distinctly odd.

The trainer’s four runners in November have started ‘big’ at 11-2, 10-1, 33-1 and 50-1, and he also runs Puzzle Cache. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.

Russian Exile had every chance late on in his handicap debut at Newton Abbot and could improve for Robbie Power now that the Tizzards have found some form. BETDAQ 8.4.

It’s first time in a handicap today for Getabuck (BETDAQ 9.8). Ran well the last day and is from the Big Buck’s family.

Chief Brody is a CD winner on firm, and Richardofdoccombe scored on heavy at Uttoxeter, though now 14..

Spirit Of Rome is 1-19; back to his old weak efforts last time, though dropped in class from his Fontwell win.

Templier was useful over fences last season but has drifted like a lonely dog on a raft this morning, and is 40.0 as I write.


12.10 Navan (win 10, nap)

1.33 Exeter (win 10)

2.08 Exeter (win 12)
BET 2.25pts win FRERO BANBOU

2.43 Exeter (win 10)
BET 1.2pts win GETABUCK

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