WEEKEND FOCUS ON THE GRAND NATIONAL: Daqman finds that his weekend Fortune Cookies feature two who are running over the Grand National fences at Aintree. Add four more talked about in his column today and you have his National short-list. Full details next week.

TODAY: One of the National short-list runs at Thurles and there’s a ‘hugely talented’ supernap at Wincanton.


FORTUNE COOKIES’ WEEKEND FOUR

⚠️ I’m closely considering The Big Dog and Corach Rambler for my early tilt at the Liverpool Grand National but I shall wait on the fate of the Fortune Cookies, Commodore and Enqarde, in Saturday’s Becher Chase over the big fences at Aintree.

Fortune Cookies or Saturday and Sunday

BANBRIDGE (143 Joseph O’Brien) Drinmore Novice Chase, Fairyhouse, Sunday
COMMODORE (142 Venetia Williams) Becher Chase, Aintree, Saturday
EDWARDSTONE (161 Alan King) Tingle Creek Chase, Sandown, Saturday
ENQARDE (134 Dr Richard Newland) Becher Chase, Aintree, Saturday


ELLIOTT’S MOUNT GOES WELL FRESH

⭕ 1.32 Thurles Then there’s Mount Ida, running in this Listed chase at Thurles this afternoon. The mare was one of my early hopes for the Grand National last April.

Trainer Gordon Elliott chooses between a couple of routes to Aintree: the cross-country way of his dual winner, Tiger Roll, which was first spotted in this column, or that of Cause Of Causes.

Mount Ida won the 2021 Kim Muir, which had been a stepping-stone for Cause Of Causes, the National runner-up in 2017.

She likes to race on her own out the back, and she was only just on the move when she clipped heels and came down in the Irish Grand National.

Still only eight, Mount Ida won three times in a row after breaks: at Cheltenham in March, 2021, at Clonmel in the November after her summer holidays; and 51 days later a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse in January.

Then it all fell apart: disappointing in the Mares Chase back at Cheltenham; unseated at the first in the Aintree National; then that clipping heels at Fairyhouse, where she had scored at today’s trip in January.

Cilaos Emery was rated 160 when winning this race last year, while Darasso was beaten only half a length in the Galway Plate in July by Hewick, the Sandown Gold Cup winner and also on my Grand National short-list.

Otherwise Darasso hasn’t won a chase since June, 2021, and Mount Ida has two years and 7lb in hand of Cilaos Emery.

Betdaq Betting Exchange 3.5 Mount Ida


LIME AVENUE IS ‘HUGELY TALENTED’

⭕ 12.55 Wincanton Novices have been letting me down at a low level but Lime Avenue was very impressive when a 14-lengths bumper winner at Chepstow and is described by trainer Paul Nicholls as ‘hugely talented’. Hopefully there are enough previous winners against her here to give us a decent trade on BETDAQ.

Lime Avenue could have taken another bumper pot at Huntingdon on Sunday but Paul Nicholls can’t wait to put her over hurdles and chooses a race he won last year.

Both Lime Avenue and likely danger Micronormous are by the sire of Jonbon and Douvan, and Lime Avenue is a half-sister to Irish National winner, Rogue Angel.

I’m still counting the cash off that one, thanks to my old mate, Mouse Morris; I got 33-1 for this column (16-1 SP) but the short-head verdict kept me sober all night.


WORTH A GLANCE AT BETDAQ 3.7

⭕ 1.25 Wincanton All bar one winner of this has been maximum age seven, which helps encourage me for Midnight Glance. Alan King won it in 2014, which is another boost to confidence.

Midnight Glance traveled strongly at Exeter – always helpful at Wincanton – and turned over a 2-1 favourite.

He’s up 8lb for that but was always doing enough and remains bottomweight in this handicap.

Outdecashonthedash is 13lb higher than when he last won here and his form on the course with higher burdens is P30

BETDAQ value 3.7 Midnight Glance

DAQMAN’S BETS

12.55 Wincanton (supernap)
BET 20pts win LIME AVENUE

1.25 Wincanton (win 20)
BET 7pts win MIDNIGHT GLANCE

1.32 Thurles (win 20)
BET 8pts win MOUNT IDA


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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.

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PAT HEALY blog: The Perfect Festival!
THE WEEK AHEAD: Super Bowl week !!
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