FIVE WINNING DAYS THE DAQMAN WAY: Yet another day of Daqman profit yesterday, thanks to Way Back Then (WON 9-2), winner number 12 for five winning days in a row and a total profit of 92 points, which has included two successful supernaps. Best-priced hits each day were:

WON 9-2 WAY BACK THEN (Monday)
WON 6-1 SAUNTER (Saturday, November Handicap, 10.0 BETDAQ)
WON 5-1 DREAM OF DREAMS (Saturday, 9.6 BETDAQ)
WON 14-1 DIAMOND GAIT (Friday)
WON 11-4 MONBEG CHARMER (Thursday, 5.6 BETDAQ)
WON 5-2 POPPY KAY (Thursday)

LONG-TERM CHELTENHAM VIEW NEEDED: The big trials season starts on Friday. Yes, the three-day Cheltenham meeting this weekend (Friday to Sunday) may produce festival stars but the novice events tend to throw up winners way into the future, not for next March, warns Daqman.


Steel yourself for the headlines! The novice races at the three-day Cheltenham meeting starting Friday always create speculation and fortune-tellers in the Press.

But, as my analysis of past results for Friday’s two trials there suggest, only a novice punter would follow the hype and spend anything from his festival wallet on these weekend winners.

2.25 Cheltenham, Friday (Steel Plate And Sections Novices Chase) Ever since Imperial Commander won 10 years ago, the Press has hyped the winner of this for the Cheltenham Festival next Spring but the Commander’s Ryanair and Gold Cup were two and three years later.

The 200 Racing Post experts went wild about Weird Al (2009) and his novice career went well but he pulled up at the festival and, switching yards to Don McCain, had a two-year losing sequence.

Time For Rupert (2010) was fifth in the RSA and was only 1-13 (just the one win) afterwards. Grands Crus (2011) failed to step beyond novice level (0-6). Dynaste (2012) won the Ryanair but two seasons later.

Exception to the ‘losers’ label was Taquin De Seuil (2013) who followed up in the JLT, but More Of That (2015) succumbed to nine consecutive defeats, and last year’s winner, O O Seven, has won only a five-runner Huntingdon novice chase since.

3.35 Cheltenham, Friday (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle) Cheltenham-wise, this is also for the long view, with – for example – Coneygree (2012) winning it two-and-a-half years before his Gold Cup, and Fingal Bay (2011) taking the 2014 Pertemps Final.

But there are sequence horses to be had: Shantou Village (2015) won four from five later in his Ballymore season; Peregrine Run (2016) landed three from four this summer.


1.30 Worcester Kerry Lee is in good form with figures of 104311, still standing in November, and Town Parks returns to a more suitable trip after his sound-jumping steeplechase debut over the minimum.

Perfect Timing’s yard is not firing and, on all known form, Song Saa and Little Jon want it soft. There’s drying ground here today and the rails have been moved to provide fresh turf. I took 3.7 Town Parks.


2.10 Huntingdon The big two, Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson, both express concern about the weights now having to be carried by High Secret and Call Me Lord.

Caid De Lin looks class 3 on the evidence of his Fontwell win at that level and his one pace at Ascot in a Listed.

But So Celebre made rapid strides in the Spring and would be on a hat-trick here had he not failed as favourite at Aintree, a race he should not have attempted so close to his impressive class-2 Ascot success.

The time of the Ascot race was very fast, more than five seconds up on the time of the Listed there in which Caid De Lin ran. Both were on ground described as ’good.’

With his stable in fabulous form, and the top of the ground in his favour, So Celebre looks overpriced at 7.8 offers on BETDAQ this morning.


3.20 Lingfield There ought to be a bet here in opposition to two horses with very long absences – Away For Slates and Champagne George – and with a Worcester specialist, Hallings Comet, running on the wrong course!

Boyhood was very promising last term and might now be on a hat-trick mission, if he hadn’t tried a trip too far and twisted a shoe. Significant market mover, in to 3.5 BETDAQ favourite as I write.

BET 7.5pts win TOWN PARKS (1.30 Worcester)
BET 3pts win SO CELEBRE (2.10 Huntingdon)
BET 8pts win (nap) BOYHOOD (3.20 Lingfield)

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