DAQMAN’S NECK ON THE LINE AT 14-1: After a hat-trick of naps, Daqman yesterday switched to small stakes at big odds for the Grassroots Series Finals at Nottingham, but there was no paydirt from Vaynor (2nd 14-1), beaten a neck, and later on Base Note (3rd 12-1). His nap today was 5.9 this morning.
IS IT THE DRAW THAT’S VERRY BIASED? Today, compare past-winners’ ratings with those of Sunday’s Arc field. Daqman, who also warns of the draw bias, had guesstimated the 11 times Group-1 winner Verry Elleegant at 117. She was 123 on official ratings but is out because the French had her on 113, ‘after poor recent form’. They also denied watering Longchamp ahead of the race.
* 20 were declared as the final field this morning.
FORM AND RATINGS FOR THE ARC
⭕ 3.05 Longchamp, Sunday (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, 1m 4f)
GOING very soft.
WINNER’S RATING (last 9 years): 123, 126, 130, 122, 129, 125, 130, 123, 125
DRAW (9 years): 6, 15, 3, 14, 2, 6, 3, 4, 12. High numbered winners Treve and Torquator Tasso stayed wide; Golden Horn, wide early, worked across to track the leaders. Found’s year not included in the decade (race run at Chantilly).
125 TORQUATOR TASSO (5 b h, Marcel Weiss); won the Arc last year after running up to Alpinista in the Berlin grand prix at the Hoppegarten. Six wins worth £3.25m, including three Group 1, from good to heavy. Beaten in small-field prep races this season.
123 SEALIWAY (4 ch c, Francis-Henri Graffard); won five from good to soft to heavy, two Group 1 including British Champions Middle Distance for Cedric Rossi before changing stables. Fifth in the Arc last year was sole race at 1m 4f; kept on; not pace to challenge.
123 VADENI (3 b c, Jean-Claude Rouget); eight races, five wins from firm to soft; two Group-1, including French Derby and Eclipse (a neck from Mishriff). Third to Luxembourg and Onesto in Irish Champion Stakes after a break, needing the run. Not raced at 1m 4f.
122 LUXEMBOURG (3 b c, Aidan O’Brien); only six races in his life, winner from good to soft; two Group 1; unbeaten as a 2yo, third in the 2,000 Guineas. Long break until winning at the Curragh and backing up with the Irish Champion Stakes (both 1m 2f).
122 MISHRIFF (5 b h, Team Gosden); six times turf winner from fast to heavy as 1m 2f specialist. Disappointing since winning the 2021 York International from Alenquer. This year beaten by Vadeni in the Eclipse and by Luxembourg in the Irish Champion Stakes.
120 ALPINISTA (5 gr m, Sir Mark Prescott); seven wins in a row, all at 1m 4f (last five Group 1) from firm to soft, beating Torquator Tasso in the Berlin grand prix last summer. Rating raised 7lb since then.
120 WESTOVER (3 b c, Ralph Beckett); only seven starts, three wins (good to good to soft) including Irish Derby; disappointed on firm in the King George at Ascot.
119 ALENQUER (4 b c, William Haggas); won on good, soft, heavy; just one Group 1 (Tattersalls Gold Cup, 1m 2f) and Group-2 (1m 4f King Edward V11 Stakes, Royal Ascot). Has beaten Mishriff; beaten by Vadeni and Luxembourg; 9th in the Arc last year.
118 BROOME (6-9-5, Aidan O’Brien); 11th last year; won just one Group 1 (1m 4f). Has scored from firm to soft, with best form his half-length defeat in the Breeders Cup turf in November. Beat 117 Mostahdaf in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
118 ONESTO (3 ch c, Fabrice Chappet); Frankel colt out of a Sea The Stars mare. Only seven races, one Group 1 (sole start at 1m 4f); three wins, all on good to soft. Fifth to Vadeni in French Derby, second to Luxembourg in Irish Champion Stakes after 58 days off (needed the race).
118 TITLEHOLDER (4 b c, Toru Kurita); winner of £3.7m from 5-9 on good and good to firm in Japan, three of them Group 1, from 1m 3f to 2m (beat 121 Deep Bond 7 lengths). Dam’s sire Derby winner Motivator, family of 1,000 Guineas winner.
ALSO RUN 118 Mare Australis beat 115 Bubble Gift two lengths in the Grand Prix de Chantilly; 111 Al Hakeem had True Statement (withdrawn) back in third (1m 2f Deauville); 111 Do Deuce won Japanese Derby; 117 Stay Foolish won Dubai Gold Cup (2m); 116 Grand Glory won Group 1 at Deauville (1m 2f).
Betdaq Betting Exchange (check out the Sportsbook): 4.5 Luxembourg, 6 Alpinista, 6.5 Torquator Tasso, 10 Titleholder, 11 Westover, 15 Onesto, 21 Mare Australis, 26 Al Hakeem, Do Deuce, 34 Mostahdaf, Sealiway, 50 Deep Bond, Stay Foolish, 66 Alenquer, Bubble Gift, Grand Glory, 80 Broome.
FOLLOWING THE CHIC MR BUICK
⭕ 2.19 Lingfield Charles Hills, who is currently striking at 41% (7-17), has William Buick riding off a 50% strike (14-28 between the 17th and 25th of the month).
They team up with So Chic, third the last day behind two subsequent winners. The danger, Classic Order, had to drop to class 6 to get off the mark in slow time.
Described by Raceform as ‘a strange race’ when, despite the field size, the first two were the only horses in with a chance from the turn-in.
Add to the strange circumstances that he was blinkered first time and you have to wonder whether the ‘form’ can be repeated.
Classic Order was 2.36 on BETDAQ this morning, and by all means save on him if you feel threatened, but 5.1 So Chic looks the better value.
THE MARKET IS THE STAR GUIDE
⭕ 4.19 Salisbury Six out of eight previous winners in the decade came out of stalls 1 to 5, a red flag for the favourite, Temple Bruer, being loaded in 13, despite the appeal of his progressive form since switching yards.
Sky Blue Pink has slipped in the ratings but may have to wait for another day, also badly drawn in 15.
Of those with stalls advantage, King Of Jungle (gate 1) needs to be fresh and his ratings are not progressive during a recent run of five defeats on 79, 79, 82, 82, 82 (and he’s 82 again today).
There hasn’t been a penny for quirky Spanish Star (gate 4) lately; 12-1, 25-1 (twice), 28-1 and 66-1 since the Spring.
Two significant signs that he’s in form are when he’s ridden by David Probert, as today and when a good third in a big field at Newbury the last day; and that the money’s down, as when winning at 16-5, 17-2 and 6-1.
The market is also an important guide to Amazonian Dream (gate 2): form since he broke his maiden: two out of two when backed at 5-2 and 10-3; form dropped to class 4, as he is today: 11041 since August last year.
Mister Bluebird (gate 5) won two races in the Spring; the grey was last a busy boy when favourite, fifth, in a big field at Haydock.
Sergeant Tibbs (3) ran a cracker at Southwell in a big field after scoring at Newbury but didn’t take to the Newcastle Tapeta the last day.
BETDAQ this morning 8 King Of Jungle, 9.8 Spanish Star, 18 Mister Bluebird, 29 Amazonian Dream, 33 Sergeant Tibbs
GO SON! THIS ONE’S IN THE NET
⭕ 5.30 Salisbury An 8lb hike into higher grades has stopped Al Azhar the last twice; both wins so far are in class 5.
La Pulga struggles on, with no money for him (12-1, 16-1, 20-1 and 22-1 the last four races) and the best blinkers have done in two starts was when he faded after leading a 1m 4f race at Newbury recently. No evidence that this step up to 1m 6f is the answer.
So I shall stick with the Salisbury standing dish, Songo: form on this course 121, culminating in a class-3 win just 3lb lower than today.
The 121 form was all on firm ground but the progeny of his sire, Most Improved, are indeed most improved on soft ground, with a 20% strike rate from a large contingent of runners.
BETDAQ value 5.9 Songo
2.19 Lingfield (win 20)
BET 5pts win SO CHIC
4.19 Salisbury (win 50 bull’s-eye bets x 3, win 12)
BET 3pts win MISTER BLUEBIRD
BET 1.6pts win AMAZONIAN DREAM
BET 1.5pts win SERGEANT TIBBS
BET 1.3pts win SPANISH STAR
5.30 Salisbury (win 20, nap)
BET 4pts win SONGO
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