VALUE FOCUS WILL BE THE FESTIVAL It will be all down to Cheltenham. Despite recent reverses, Daqman remains 40 points in front of Pricewise in their value challenge, with the scores 18-10 to our man (and +33 to –7 on a single-point betting basis). This is a very similar gap to last NH season when Daqman won 22-15 but soared clear in the 2017 Flat season, 45-8.

PUNTER-FRIENDLY BETDAQ ORANGE In the search for value, now and particularly at the big festival meets, compare bookmakers’ prices with the low overrounds in the punter-friendly BETDAQ orange. It’s topical today, with the first meeting at Ffos Las since it was labelled the worst track for starting prices.


It’s not a good day for betting. Unless you’re already with BETDAQ, of course. Bookmakers at Ffos Las and Market Rasen are among the worst offenders for their SP take.

Rasen is in the top 10 of 60 tracks for the biggest overrounds, but Ffos Las is well clear with ‘an alarming level.’

So says the Horserace Betting Forum in a timely report, since we are not far away now from the Grand National.

In the 2015 race at Liverpool, the 39 runners returned an overround of 165%. The odds were fixed so that a great deal more than half the many millions bet was never paid out in winnings.

But the report says that researchers ‘never imagined’ they’d discover such an ‘extreme’ case as Ffos Las, with its small low-class fields.

They cite a 10-runner race with a 4-1 on favourite which produced an overround of 143%. Talk about having your layer cake and eating it!

The HBF also found that the Chelmsford and Towcester betting rings were ‘particularly disadvantageous’ to punters. Nottingham was a long way the best.

The lengthy and damning report concludes: ‘Sophisticated punters have opportunities to place their money elsewhere.’ I’ll say.

Just a glance at no particular time (it was 9.31 this morning, in fact) shows you how punter friendly is the BETDAQ orange.

The Ffos Las overrounds, race by race, at that time were 104, 103, 109, 111, 111 and 109%, including one with a longish-odds-on favourite.


3.15 Market Rasen Two class-3 races here, and BETDAQ to the rescue of punters with 108% (in this one) and 101% overrounds as I write.

You don’t have to be ‘sophisticated’ to see, from a market with depth, from 3.25 to 33.0 offers, that you have a value opportunity.

Take out the favourite or, indeed, any one of the first five in the market, and you can back all the others in the race and win money.

It’s never that easy but knocking out horses is often a better starting point than walking into the maze of form and trying to find one horse to win.

Whether you can knock out the favourite is a first question in the mind of a professional punter.

Well, the favourite’s never won this race, nor has anything with Solomon Grey’s weight. But he’s down in grade and consistent (career form 2322213), though with a bit too much of the bridesmaid about him.

Treshnish (32131 after his debut) is a big, strong sort that in one way is not suited to Market Rasen’s roundabout track, but in another he is, in that he travels strongly in his races and got home well on the last day from a previous winner.

And Nayati (form 3111, two from two in UK since coming over from France) is only four years old, with the form of his winning English debut at Newbury not franked by the runner-up last week. I took Treshnish at 5.6.


4.00 Navan (Ten Up Novice Chase) Improvement is the key as young horses with potential show their paces ahead of Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown.

Moulin A Vent beat Monbeg Notorious 18 lengths at Fairyhouse in a beginners’ chase in December and when, after defeat at Leopardstown, he beat a small field at Naas (Mossbank fell), the handcapper set his mark at 145.

But subsequent back-to-back success by Monbeg Notorious at Punchestown and against his elders, and seeming betters, in the Thyestes in January, forced the handicapper to give him a lofty 150.

With Moulin A Vent giving him 3lb under the conditions of this Grade 2, there can only be one bet at better than even money


4.10 Ffos Las The overround on the early-mouse BETDAQ market was 111% (offers ranging from 4.6 to 34.0)

The SP favourite is going for a hat-trick but the morning market leader is up in class and grade after beating steeplechase maidens over shorter.

Domingo makes his English debut with trainer Jonjo O’Neill badly out of form, but the ex-French beast was well backed with the bookies this morning.

Fergal O’Brien is striking at 40% and Jennys Surprise (a 9.8 offer), who loves the mud, is a regular winner in this grade, back to back at this time last year.

DAQMAN’S BETS (each staked to win 20)
BET 4.25pts win TRESHNISH (3.15 Market Rasen)
BET 2.25pts win and place JENNYS SURPRISE (4.10 Ffos Las)

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