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NICHOLLS’ ENGLISH CLAN CAPTURES PUNCHESTOWN GOLD CUP: Just crowned champion trainer, Paul Nicholls, with Clan Des Obeaux, under a tremendous ride by Sam Twiston-Davies, served up sweet revenge for the English in taking yesterday’s Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup from the dual Cheltenham gold hero, Al Boum Photo, with the Irish Gold Cup winner, Kemboy, only fourth. It’s about time, says Daqman, but he’s also referring to the strange case of the Punchestown clock.

DAQMAN 11, PRICEWISE 6
LAYS LOGIC 5-6
NAPS 6-13
SUPERNAPS 3-4

GREAT START BY STRADIVARIUS: ANOTHER DAQMAN SUPERNAP: Despite facing a tactical race at Ascot, Stradivarius landed Daqman’s supernap in the Gold Cup trial Sagaro Stakes under Frankie Dettori. Who will make the headlines today:

FORGET RACE TIMES: I TOLD YOU SO
UNEXCEPTED IS NOT SO UNEXPECTED
CROSS-COUNTRY CONQUEST OF SPACE
STAYERS: LET’S PUMP UP THE VOLUME


FORGET RACE TIMES: I TOLD YOU SO

Can anyone at Punchestown tell me the time? I was talking yesterday about the so-slow race times returned on the opening day, as a possible reason for some unexpected the results.

Then yesterday, though seemingly with fit horses at full gallop, and with conditions said to be just yielding, the first four races were all at least half a minute slow, with the rest of the card 20 seconds or more above standard, representing many lengths.

I began to sense a bit of Irish at work and, checking out the cross-country today, I found that in the last five years the time has always been slow whatever the going!

Slow by 37.80 (good), by 33.80 (firm), 26.80 (good to firm), 51.40 (good to soft) and 47.20 (good to firm) since 2015.

In that time, not only the going changed but also the distance! The last three La Touches have been run over 4m 1f, then 4m 1.5f, and finally in 2019 over 4m 2f.

It’s 4m 2f again today and the safest bet in the race is on a time between 50 seconds and one minute slow (get on!)

By whose standards the mean times were set, I honestly don’t know but it might have been James Bond in his DB5.

The supposed going must also be in question. As it is, I suggest a pin is a better punting tool than a stop-watch for the rest of the meeting.

W H Auden must have had a day at the races at Punchestown when he wrote: ‘Time will say nothing but I told you so.’

⭕ NAP (3.15 Redcar) My man in the long grass tells me to steer clear of a nap at Punchestown, marking Celestial Queen ‘biggest potential of the day in England.’

No chance on heavy last year, this Group and Classic related filly has had a run back and is ‘expected’ against exposed types in this lowly class-6.

BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE value 4.0 Celestial Queen


UNEXCEPTED IS NOT SO UNEXPECTED

⭕ 4.15 Punchestown You don’t expect to win a race like this, just to find something to factor in that no one else has thought of.

I tried Unexcepted, who beat Entoucas in the mud at Tipperary in October and had a run back in February.

In theory, if you believe the going forecast and that conditions are improved in ‘sunny’ weather, you should note that Unexcepted’s sire has a superb 57% strike rate with progeny running on better ground. So an Unexcepted win today would not be unexpected.

BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE 10.0 Unexcepted


CROSS-COUNTRY CONQUEST OF SPACE

⭕ 4.50 Punchestown (La Touche Cup cross-country) Enda Bolger, who has won this three times in the decade, gives himself two chances with Stand Up And Fight and Blue Templar.

Stand Up And Fight has been earmarked for cross country for quite some time but was doing well enough in hunter-chases.

Blue Templar has won a banks race for hunter-chasers here, beating one-time Cheltenham Glenfarclas winner, Josies Orders.

Some Neck has top-class experience: winner of the December Glenfarclas at Cheltenham (holds Alpha Des Obeaux on that) and third to Tiger Roll and Easysland at the festival in March.

Ballyboker Bridge, who won the last running of this in 2019, is back for more aged 14.

I shall put my pound on the 2020 Ulster National winner, Space Cadet, who stayed on well, third, over this Punchestown banks course in February.

BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE value 8.2 Space Cadet


STAYERS: LET’S PUMP UP THE VOLUME

⭕ 5.25 Punchestown (Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle) Flooring Porter thrives on hard work but it’s not done to win the Stayers at Cheltenham and come on here and do the double.

It’s a tough season, jumping from one festival to another, when the ground is often heavy but, at only six years old, he is unlikely to go down without a fight.

His two Grade-1 wins suggest he will be up there from the start, so what fresh legs can come from behind and take him on?

1 Ronald Pump A winner of three races in a row when fresh in 2019-20, finished off his season second in the big one at Cheltenham.

He kept on strongly, half a length second to champion-hurdler Honeysuckle in the Hattons Grace (2m 4f) later that month. Beacon Edge was third, Bacardys fourth.

2 Flooring Porter Sure to be thereabouts if the strain doesn’t tell. The stats are all against him.

3 Saldier Willie Mullins runs ‘hidden horses’ Saldier and Klassical Dream, who both reached high rank in 2019, Klassical Dream with four in a row including the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham and the Champion Novice at this Punchestown meeting.

He was then twice beaten at odds on, unruly and showing a sulky head carriage, one of them when third to Saldier in the Morgiana, also here at Punchestown.

We know little or nothing of their stamina but both have the potential, shown tremendous patience by the Mullins team.

4 French Dynamite Mouse Morris is having a good year and he’s booked Rachael Blackmore for French Dynamite.

Rachael was in the saddle when fading after the last on soft ground at Leopardstown over Christmas, behind Flooring Porter and The Storyteller. The better ground – if it really is better ground! – would help reverse those placings today.

BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE value 8.6 Ronald Pump, 14.5 Saldier

DAQMAN’S BETS

3.15 Redcar (win 30)
BET 10pts win (nap) CELESTIAL QUEEN

4.15 Punchestown (win 20)
BET 2pts win UNEXPECTED

4.50 Punchestown (win 30)
BET 4pts win SPACE CADET

5.25 Punchestown (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET 6pts win RONALD PUMP
BULL’S-EYE BET 3.75pts win SALDIER


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.