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FAIRYHOUSE PASSES INSPECTION BUT EXETER ABANDONED: Exeter this afternoon has been abandoned. There is no inspection planned for Doncaster. Fairyhouse has had theirs and decided to race on the heavy ground. Daqman finds a ‘hidden horse’ among more than 60 runners at Chelmsford.

DAQMAN’S SINGING IN THE RAIN: VALUE RACE TOMORROW: Despite Storm Brendan, Daqman hopes to be singing in the rain with a nap at Doncaster this afternoon, and plans to reveal a race tomorrow which will have punters looking forward to future value.


WINNERS BLOWING IN THE WIND

Just Walking In The Rain. According to Google, there are 150 songs about Rain and that was one of the big hits (1956 by Johnny Ray).

But I’m talking about the slow, slow, barely walking, times of winners in the mud on the current racing scene and wonder if the form means anything and whether, as clerks of course would say, we’re lucky to get the racing we do have.

Also, I wonder if Blame It On The Rain (1989) is an anthem for a few trainers, who are happy hiding an animal’s form ‘for another day’ with the weight reduced a few pounds by failing to act in the conditions and trailing in through the mud.

The only way to bet while Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (1969 Oscar winner) is to winkle out the horses which are Only Happy When It Rains (1995 by Garbage). See, I keep up!

Aware that what I write about the form may be so much garbage, blown about by the wind and rain, making me wonder ‘weather’ to have a bet at all, I’m going to look ahead tomorrow to a big race which is almost always a ray of sunshine to ante-post punters everywhere. Meanwhile..

TODAY
Chelmsford (AW) ok on Polytrack; forecast showers.
Doncaster going soft; Met Office forecast sunny morning; afternoon rain.
Exeter ABANDONED after heavy rain
Fairyhouse going heavy but passed a morning inspection

TOMORROW
Newbury good to soft/soft (forecast showers)
Plumpton heavy, soft in places (INSPECTION 8am)
Punchestown Ladbrokes meeting: soft
Southwell and Wolverhampton (AW) ok


HOBBS ON THE HIGHWAY TO WIN

2.10 Doncaster This beginners’ chase is the first of four consecutive class-4 races which ought to yield something to bet on.

Philip Hobbs has stayed mainly close to home at the likes of Taunton, Exeter, Ludlow and Wincanton in the last fortnight but his forays far afield to Haydock, Uttoxeter and Catterick have resulted in returns of 113211

And, while he has two runners just 44 miles away at Exeter today, he spends the petrol money to send just the one horse, Cotswold Way, the 240 miles up to Doncaster.

A hurdles winner four times and now on a mark of 140, the seven-year-old is already within 3lb of that rating over chases, twice runner-up at Ludlow, including in a class 3 on the last day.

Caribean Boy has been with Nicky Henderson nearly 14 months since being bought from France, where he started never shorter than 12-1. His score was 1-9 and tricky Nicky will need to have made a transformation.

Fred Winter fifth in 2018, Turning Gold will be suited by the soft ground but we have no racetrack knowledge of his jumping ability. It’s his debut over fences today and his career CV doesn’t have much that is solid about it.

Twice a runner at the Cheltenham Festival, The Big Bite (no relation to Might Bite) could be better than the bare form after recent wind ops. I took 4.6 Cotswold Way in the BETDAQ orange.


STORM’S THE COINCIDENCE BET

3.50 Doncaster There’s more evidence to go on in this mares’ handicap hurdle, for which the stats say: stick with youngsters below the age of seven.

Though it only seems like yesterday – on Boxing Day, in fact – that Theflickeringlight won at Wetherby, her 10lb punishment doesn’t look warranted after the runner-up, still a maiden, went down 23 lengths only last week.

‘Flicker’ had earlier won a mares’ handicap at Newcastle by 13 lengths from Amberose, who takes her on again but is said to need better ground.

Schiaparannie’s Southwell success also looks suspect following a 25-lengths hammering since then for the second mare home that day.

I shall watch the BETDAQ market regarding the chances of Eyes Right: form when fancied since her debut 2413; when 50-1 twice, 04.

My fancy is 7.2 offer Storm Goddess, who broke her maiden here a year or so back. Aimed high at a Cheltenham Listed last April and again at that level in November behind Champion Hurdle hope, Epatante, weakening between the last two flights when she lost a shoe.


ALVARO IS BRED FOR THE TRIP

7.30 Chelmsford There’s a ‘hidden horse’ here in 10.0 BETDAQ offer Alvaro, given a rock-bottom rating in his first handicap for ‘shrewdie trainer’ Michael Wigham.

Alvaro is by the sire of two £2m-plus winners (9f-10f) and is related down the dam’s side to a Champion Stakes (1m 2f) star.

Had his three maiden runs in the autumn over 6f and 7f, running on well on today’s track for Jimmy Quinn, who is back in the saddle today, looking for his first winner in 2020.

Double Reflection is 0-7 on AW and has changed hands since two summer turf wins in 2018. Easy Tiger also moved yards after a year off and his SPs in the autumn (up to 100-1) didn’t hold out much hope.

Fair Power beats them both: he’s changed hands three times. John Butler has him back to form now and, as a CD winner, claimed off, who once won off 78, his 65 mark looks good.

Thechildrenstrust seems 7lb too high and has no form at the trip or at Chelmsford. The Game Is On is 00 at Chelmsford but 12 at Wolverhampton; does not look like one of Sir Mark Prescott’s sequence horses.

Wimpole Hall (4.0 offers) makes a quick return after trouble in running here three days ago, with his overall form on the track 131031 before that.

DAQMAN’S BETS

2.10 Doncaster (win 20)
BET 5.5pts win (nap) COTSWOLD WAY

3.50 Doncaster (win 10)
BET 1.6pts win STORM GODDESS

7.30 Chelmsford (win 20, win 10)
BET 2.25pts win ALVARO
BET 3.25pts win WIMPOLE HALL


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