CHELTENHAM’S STAR OF THE FUTURE: Cheltenham here we come with Daqman’s stars lined up for next week’s festival today and tomorrow, starting with an ante-post update, which features his star of the future.

HUGE FESTIVAL OFFERS ON BETDAQ: Tomorrow Daqman lines up a power list of 16 for the meeting. Today’s BETDAQ offers taken include 17.5 (twice) and 12.5; in tomorrow’s list currently 29.0, 27.0, 20.0, 8.0, 17.0.

WARWICK SUPERNAP: The start of a SUPERWEEK – DAQMAN bids his Cheltenham week running with a SUPERNAP on the Warwick card which passed a morning inspection.


There’s a giant at Cheltenham next week. I’m putting the spotlight on the biggest racehorse I’ve ever seen. And the trainer is thinking in terms of another Denman, though ‘he’s bigger than that,’ says Paul Nicholls.

You get the impression he could be sizing up prowess as well as stature but he adds: ‘I’m not totally convinced I’m talking Gold Cup, but Grand National, yes.’

I like to put up a future star every year at this time and, with a 43-1 Cheltenham NH Chase winner and 50-1 National hero among my nominations in recent years, I’m keen to find another.

By name this year’s potential Goliath tells his own story. He’s Topofthegame. And he’s on offer at 12.5 on BETDAQ this morning for the Coral Cup on Wednesday. I’ll take that

It’s going to be an attritional bog out there on Prestbury Park with rain adding to the mud but, as they say, it’s the same for everyone. And Topofthegame just keeps galloping. He will make my festival ante-post list of six look like this:

CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN 3pts x 17.5 BETDAQ (to win 50): Tuesday, Supreme Novices Hurdle

BRAIN POWER 6pts x 9.40 BETDAQ (to win 50): Tuesday, Arkle Chase

MONALEE 9.25pts x 6.4 BETDAQ (to win 50): Wednesday, RSA Chase (alt JLT Thursday)

JOSIE’S ORDERS 8.25pts x 7.0 BETDAQ (to win 50): Wednesday, Cross-Country

BLACK OP 3pts x 17.5 BETDAQ (to win 50): Wednesday, Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

TOPOFTHEGAME 4.25pts x 12.5 BETDAQ (to win 50): Wednesday, Coral Cup


Market Rasen and Warwick got the go-ahead today but the turf cards at Kelso and Naas are victims of the weather.

The BHA and Horse Racing Ireland have been brilliant in recent years in rescheduling / adding additional meetings at short notice when the weather intervenes.

But both could have been left red-faced today if all the turf cards had been plundered – surely an all-weather card either in the UK or at Dundalk could have been added which really would have kept the show on the road.

Any other day we seem to have an abundance of all-weather cards and it just seems to DAQMAN that a card today COULD have been worth it’s weight in gold.

Needless to say testing ground at both venues on Sunday.

2.20 Warwick a Supernap to start a Superweek. With Starcrossed coming out this really does look at the mercy of Piton Pete. One pound/euro buys me 70p/c at the time of writing but that looks fair enough in what now looks a very uncompetitive heat – despite the big field.

Oliver Sherwood’s runners aren’t going too badly – 6 from the last 10 placed – and Piton Pete couldn’t have been much more impressive at Towcester last time out when slamming joint favourite Pull Together on soft ground. That was a reward for his consistency and although he made a couple of errors at the final two flights he should find Warwick an easier test than Towcester.

He has a 6lb penalty to defy but that’s less than his official rating increase of 7lb so catch him while you can.

Biggest danger might come from the Philip Hobbs trained Great Lover who showed his first sign of ability at Taunton last time out when fourth. That was his third start and if he improves again from that run could give ‘Pete’ most to think about.

4.30 Warwick This looks a weak handicap but one that stands out is the Oliver Greenall trained Western Morning.

He’s never started at an SP shorter than 33/1 in four starts but made a promising start in handicap debut at Haydock last time out. Although finishing 9th of 12 he wasn’t beaten too far and the handicapper has dropped him a further 3lb. Ross Turner takes off 8lb so, given the Haydock race was much more competitive than this, you can see why he is starting to get interesting.

He’s a point to point winner so clearly has ability and I’m hopefully of a big run. There’s plenty of interest on BETDAQ too, trading at 5.1 at the time of writing.

5.10 Market Rasen hat-trick seeking Calipso Collonges might well take a lot of beating even with another 9lb but he frames this closing handicap hurdle nicely for a win and place alternative with the dead eight runners.

Voodoo Doll was only beaten a head on his handicap debut at Ludlow and can make the favourite work hard. I’ll cover the WIN 20 stake on the place market for hopefully a bet to nothing.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 except SUPERNAP)
SUPERNAP BET 20pts win PITON PETE (2.20 Warwick)
BET 4.8pts win WESTERN MORNING (4.30 Warwick)
BET 3.3pts win and stakes saver 1.5pts place VOODOO DOLL (5.10 Market Rasen)

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