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DAQMAN’S 25-1 SHOT BEATEN A NOSE IN THE MELBOURNE CUP: ‘Aussie Reality Check’ declared Daqman of this morning’s Melbourne Cup but it was master-tipster Daqman who had to face the reality of a heart-stopping near miss when 25-1 Master Of Reality was beaten a nose, giving him the 1-2 from five in his order in, then suffered disqualification into fourth for late interference.

33 POINTS PROFIT FROM MONDAY WINNERS AT 11-2 AND 7-2: Earlier, Daqman had made a Monday profit of 33.50 with two terrific winners at Plumpton and Newcastle, both backed to bag 30 points, both revealing yet again the value to be had on BETDAQ:

WON 11-2 REASSURE from 7.4 taken on BETDAQ
WON 7-2 PENNY MALLOW from 9.0 taken on BETDAQ

FIVE DAYS LEFT AND HE’S 931 POINTS AHEAD OF PRICEWISE: Daqman and Pricewise of the Racing Post clash today in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, with Daqman 931 points clear of his arch-rival in the final week of the Flat.

Daqman 87, Pricewise 40 (Daqman + 326, Pricewise – 605 to 10pt stakes)
Bulls-eye naps (8-16) 50% (256pts profit to recommended stakes)
Supernaps (26-46) 56% (10pts profit to 20-point stake)


🇦🇺 Frankie Dettori reduced to tears again. Not overwhelmed with emotion for the love of his riding life, Enable, but for being pipped on the line, then disqualified and banned for nine meetings, in this morning’s ever-controversial running of the Melbourne Cup.

Master Of Reality (at 25-1) had been written off by the pundits but – always conscious that value is in opposing the crowd – I begged to differ and dreamt up an ‘impossible’ scenario in which Frankie from the one draw would get through on the rails.

Victory was on, my vision coming true, as Master-Frankie went two lengths up on them in the final stages but the baying crowd was chasing down the impossible dream.

Vow And Declare became the home hero as he grabbed the £2million-plus prize by a nose. In a blanket finish, Master Of Reality (trained Joseph O’Brien) was second, but things had got tight, and the stewards pushed him back to fourth.

‘I just want to cry’, groaned a deflated Dettori, as they placed Prince Of Arran (Charlie Fellowes) second and Il Paradiso (Aidan O’Brien) third, originally with head, nose, nose the official distances as they crossed the line.

So, Australia first from England, Ireland, Ireland, the hat-trick bid after Rekindling and Cross Counter foiled in the final strides.

Cross Counter finished eighth this time, with other raiders from England and Ireland – Magic Wand (10), Twilight Payment (11), Hunting Horn (15), Raymond Tusk (16), Latrobe (18) and Downdraft (22) – well behind. Mustajeer and Rostropovich were the last pair home.

So it was that three of the first four were trained O’Brien but it was Danny O’Brien who won it for Sydney connections, known best in England for sending over Star Witness to be placed in both Kings Stand and Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

Craig Williams (pictured) was the winning jockey, nine years on from the day of his own tears. He was suspended and missed the Melbourne Cup winning ride on Dunaden after landing the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate. The Aussie triple has never been done.


2.10 Exeter (Haldon Gold Cup) Paul Nicholls is in better form now, with four winners in November already, but Dolos has to improve again, after consistency put him high in the handicap last term.

The Skeltons think a lot of Destrier but he has to step out of novice class here on his first run back.

Janika was always fighting the handicapper after coming to England with a hat-trick on his chase CV in France, and piling on more weight through consistency in quality events.

Today’s trip looks plenty sharp enough for him so, theoretically, they have something else in mind in the near future.

When Charbel won a Grade 2 at Huntingdon last December, he slammed the winner of this, Gods Own, but lost his way after.

A recent return at Chepstow, and wind ops, might revitalise him, with the Kim Bailey stable in great form and the cheekpieces back on.

There’s a tip – and there was money last night – for Lalor, which is hard to justify. A similar case to Charbel; lost his way but Grade 1 hurdles and Grade 2 chase winner who could bounce back.

Altogether a tricky contest, won twice by Gods Own, and with such as Cue Card on its roll of honour. Paul Nicholls has scored three times nine years.

But I’ll choose from the six-year-olds (3-5 in recent runnings) and take 4.5 BETDAQ offer Destrier at the weights, highly thought of by the Skeltons.


4.05 Southwell There are some trappy races at Southwell where you’d be guessing on ability to handle the surface – which I don’t like to do here.

The 1.30 is a three runner affair where none of them have course experience and I wouldn’t be in a rush to back the John Gosden trained Millicent Fawcett in the 3.30 at around 1.38 on BETDAQ. She’s unproven on this unique surface and was a beaten odds-on favourite last time out. I really can afford to sit back and let her win at today’s kind of price without being involved.

I thought the bet on the card was Restive in the finale. The six-year-old won twice here when trained by Jim Goldie and is now in the hands of Michael Appleby whose strike-rate continues to impress.

There are certainly no concerns in the saddle with the excellent Serena Brotherton onboard and the partnership can make a bold bid in a race where there are major question marks over the chief market rivals.

Keith disappointed here last week and is now 0/9 whilst Duke Of Yorkshire, who ran well at Catterick last week, is unproven on the Fibresand.


4.15 Exeter No shock to see Philip Hobbs run Sandy Boy so quickly before the handicapper has his say.

He comes here on the back of a big effort at Chepstow last week when a narrow second to Eva’s Oskar and the pair finished nicely clear of a big field.

This certainly doesn’t look any tougher as a content and with Richard Johnson again aboard the partnership should be able to go one better off the same 108 mark.

Heavey is interesting now up in trip but his only career win to date has come on good ground and a bigger danger might come from Pemberley who was a good second on handicap debut at Wincanton last time out.


6.40 Kempton Class 4 is as high as the bar is raised to tonight at Kempton and in this six furlong sprint handicap a chance is taken with Benny And The Jets to run into a place. We have the ‘dead eight’ field so I’m looking for a 1-2-3 finish.

Both his wins this season have come over this trip and there were signs he was returning to winning form last time out here when a good third to Mercenary Rose over five furlongs.

‘Rose’ had the run of the race that night and will again be a tough nut to crack but her step up in trip and 6lb penalty is a leveller which brings ‘Benny’ far closer than the prices might indicate.


2.10 Exeter (win 20)
BET 5.75pts win DESTRIER

4.05 Southwell (win 20)
BET 5.0pts win RESTIVE

4.15 Exeter (win 10)
BET 6.0pts win (nap) SANDY BOY

6.40 Kempton (win 20, place win 10)
BET 2.8pts win and 5.5pts place BENNY AND THE JETS

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