I’M OPPOSING DERBY FAVOURITE, WARNS DAQMAN: The stats qualifications for winning the Irish Derby are more thinly spread than any other in my years of doing ABC form guides in this column, says Daqman. It suggests an open race, and I’ll be opposing the favourite. Watch this space!

FOLLOW HIS TIPPING POWER ALL THE WAY HOME: Daqman made it five winners in three days with Power Of Darkness (WON 3-1) yesterday. Now he’s hoping for an all-the-way win at Newcastle to land his third nap of the week.


A Winner of a Group race (86%)
B Rated 114 or higher (80%)
C Winner over 1m 2f or more (80%)
D Ran in the Epsom Derby (73%)
E Sire’s stamina index 11f (70%)
F Trained Aiden O’Brien (55%)
X Stable in form (20%+ current strike-rate)

ABDF Saxon Warrior

He’s built like a miler. Who said that? His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, and the Warrior duly won the English 2,000 Guineas, again running like a miler when only fourth in the Epsom Derby.

But, despite all that, and though only one horse in the decade has won this Curragh Derby with a lower stamina index than Saxon Warrior’s sire, Aidan and The Lads have faith in his stamina.

In fact, in a modest Irish Derby, only Saxon Warrior and Dee Ex Bee have ratings that would normally be carried into this race by the winner.

ACEX Platinum Warrior

Slow to come to hand this year but made no mistake in the Gallinule here at the Curragh, beating Latrobe. Needs to find 10lb or so.

ACF Rostropovich

Jumping straight back into the fray after running second in the ‘Ascot Derby’, King Edward V11 Stakes.

That was a good performance by the impressive Dee Stakes winner when most thought he’d drop down in grade after a dismal effort in the French Derby.

AC Old Persian

Stepped up from handicap (April) to Listed (May) and on the last day to a Group-2 Royal Ascot win over Rostropovich in the ‘Ascot Derby’ eight days before Saturday’s race. Is it too soon to hope for further improvement?

ADEF The Pentagon

Third to Saxon Warrior in last year’s Racing Post Trophy, third to Nelson in the Ballysax, I thought he was on the upgrade but he was outpaced in the Epsom Derby and he’s looking like ‘a nearly horse,’ now dropped a few pounds by the handicapper.

BDX Dee Ex Bee

Had Saxon Warrior (4th), Delano Roosevelt (6th), The Pentagon (8th), Kew Gardens( 9th) and Knight To Behold (11th) behind when a length-and-a-half runner-up to Masar in the Epsom Derby, but similar placed efforts in the Blue Riband Trial and the Chester Vase.

CDE Knight To Behold

Thrashed Kew Gardens in the Lingfield Derby Trial but too much on his toes in the Epsom Derby and didn’t like the course. Hung right at bottom bend when should have been getting into rhythm.

Maybe better suited to this more conventional track, but similar excuses being made for Saxon Warrior.

CE Carlo Biraghi

Too green to race as a two-year-old, ran too freely on the last day and may want some cut in the ground.

C Bandua

Back-to-back wins both on soft-heavy ground and both at Cork.

C Latrobe

Runner-up to Hunting Horn first run back, then to Platinum Warrior before a six-lengths maiden win. Highly regarded by his trainer.

DEF Delano Roosevelt

Finished (consecutively) behind Nelson, Saxon Warrior, Nelson again, Hazarpour, Masar and Old Persian, to name but a few as they say.


No evidence of improvement in seven consecutive races, rated monotonously between 100 and 103. Seventh in the Irish Guineas.


3.05 Newcastle A couple of bets should trap the winner. The form of Daafr’s debut race has been franked and his sire has a high strike rate on AW.

Almufti represents the stable that has won this race for the last two seasons, and he, too, is poised after one run, as one of the first two-year-olds of Toronado.

3.40 Newcastle Frown tried to make all at Windsor on the last day. Now Oisin Murphy is called in, down a furlong or so and down in grade. Catch him if you can at 5.8 on BETDAQ this morning.

4.15 Newcastle (Seaton Delaval Handicap) Constantino won this last year off a 5lb lower mark but is the only CD winner in the field.

Poet’s Society won here as a juvenile and is on a hat-trick today after scoring from the front at Bath and Goodwood. That’s not so easy on this course.

Humbert beat Poet’s Society at Wolverhampton in January, with Poet’s Society now 6lb better for a head.

But three of the above met at Lingfield in March: first Constantino, second Humbert, fifth Poet’s Society, and Constantino comes out best at today’s weights, yet is a 9.4 offer on BETDAQ.

Fire Brigade went close to winning the Silver Cambridgeshire but that was on autumn ground and he seems to need rain.

Fastar is on the upgrade but also has to prove himself on this Tapeta surface. Nonios’ success has come over further. The same applies to Dark Red.


4.25 Newmarket Aces has had three different trainers but has won for them all.

Marcus Tregoning and Hayley Turner scored for us yesterday but Sir Titan has no form on a straight track and I’d rather wait and back him at Glorious Goodwood, where he’s on a hat-trick.

It’s the same situation with Sea Fox but in reverse. He was beaten on the last day at Chester from a wide draw on a fast turning track, and should be better off in the straight of the July Course, after running third in the Victoria Cup at Ascot.

Saluti has won on the Rowley Mile course and is currently 2-2 over 7f but he’s up in the weights, which forces him to try this at two grades higher.

Berkshire Boy’s rating doesn’t vary much and he’s just had his win, but Roll On Rory will give them all a tow.

Sea Fox, offered at 16.0 on BETDAQ, may have most to fear from 4.3 chance On The Warpath, an AW improver, who has his first run since switched to Charlie Appleby and his first on turf.


3.05 Newcastle (win 20)
BET 8pts win DAAFR
BET 4pts (stakes saver) ALMUFTI

3.40 Newcastle (win 20)
BET 4.25pts win (nap) FROWN

4.15 Newcastle (win 30)
BET 3.5pts win and place CONSTANTINO

4.25 Newmarket (win 10 and win 20)
BET 1.25pts win and place SEA FOX

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