THE SECRETS OF WINNER-FINDING: Daqman’s poignant and topical story of Gordon the punter yesterday is followed today, and with several notes and queries in future columns, by some of his secrets of winner-finding. He was A Legend In His Own Lunchtime.

TWO OUT OF TWO FOR LAYS LOGIC: Daqman’s Lays Logic red flags for morning favourites yesterday at Worcester (Global Citizen unplaced 5-2) and Kempton (Sweet William, drifted to 6-1, second) paid off but his nap was a non-runner.

TODAY: Daqman heads to Wolverhampton and Redcar for his best bets.


How did Gordon do it? My mystery man seemed to win every lunchtime. He ran out of betting-shops and ran out of accounts; they didn’t want to know him. But rival punters did! Just give us a clue, they would say.

No point peering over his shoulder; he hardly seemed to read the form at all, sometimes only glancing down the Sporting Life cards pinned to the wall.

Must be horses to follow, they said. Partly right. Must be trainers, they said. Partly right. Jockeys? Partly right.

Then one rainy day I gave him a lift into town. ‘I won’t get the Rolls out,’ he joked; ‘it would only get the lads riled up again’. Then he turned to me: ‘Why don’t you ask how I pick my horses?’

‘You’ll tell me if you want to,” I said. ‘Well, I do want to,’ he replied. ‘I have no choice. Unless you’ll put my money on for me, I’m finished; no one wants to take my bets.’

‘That puts me in the same boat,’ I said. ‘If I keep winning for you, they’ll shut me out same as you.’

‘Ah, but you’ll be backing your losers as well,’ he laughed. I’d just got a sports editor’s job and I warned him it wouldn’t be every day. ‘No; it won’t be,’ he said, ‘I never bet at bookies’ meetings, like Brighton.’ Bookies’ meetings?

Brighton was an example, he said, where fields were full of regular local players who win once in a blue moon mixed with visiting horses and trainers who have little idea how to handle the vagaries of the track.

Gordon split his season into three: early birds who farmed Spring prizes; improvers, particularly fillies, blooming in the summer; soft-ground horses with delayed-tactics trainers who plotted for later in the year.

You work with the capable trainers: he particularly liked Michael Jarvis and would right now be filling his boots with winners trained by his then assistant, Roger Varian.

‘The patience of trainers; the progress of horses that are not rushed but really cared for and allowed to develop. Back them against horses pushed by the yard to go for every race; very few can do that or, if they do, only for a while and are sitting ducks for you to oppose them.’

But what about his speedy scanning down the racecards; one bookie even tried to cover the wall-chart until he’d gone! This was his answer, mainly about handicappers.

Every form figure tells a story about the horse. Since horses only win a certain percentage of races, you can tell if they’re ‘busy’ or not.

Check out the form figures 003-411. Had a look-see last season, a prep run this and landed a double. If he’s a handicapper he’s unlikely to win again now until his weight comes down. If he’s a stakes horse, look at his ratings: he might be improving all the time.

Form 0011304- This one needed a couple of runs to get started last season but won when wanted and form tailed off as his weight increased. Sure to try the same again to get back to his winning mark.

Form 001400-004310 This one wins once a year; he’s just had his win, so leave him alone!

Form 4022222 He doesn’t know how to win but he does know how to lose!

Form 01040300-200 He’s won only his maiden. That frightened him to death. He only ran well again first run back, when he’d forgotten the pain.

Form 01211-03400 Pounced on by the handicapper after last season. Ignore him until he’s back to his winning weight. Quite soon now.

Form 01/1/1- He’s only capable of being got up for one race. Gordon would now be backing them trained by Nicky Henderson and Saeed Bin Suroor.

* More of Gordon’s betting tips tomorrow in Fortune Cookies.


⭕ 5.10 Wolverhampton City Vaults runs in the dartboard silks of Withernsea Thoroughbred and can hit the bullseye here.

The grey is stepped up to 1m 6f for the first time – he was running over seven furlongs in July!

You can see trainer David O’Meara’s thinking too after City Vaults finished a staying on third at Ripon last time out over 1m 2f despite meeting trouble in the run.

It’s a competitive enough heat but many can be ruled out on either stamina grounds or looking poorly handicapped – which might apply to hat-trick seeking Desert Quest who scraped home by a short head at Redcar last time out and has been pushed up a further 3lb.


⭕ 6.00 Wolverhampton Some major question marks over the Betdaq Betting Exchange market leaders here – so much so that the value might lie elsewhere.

Imaginary World was sent off favourite for his debut at Ascot so must have been showing plenty at home but in the end was a well beaten sixth and will need to improve significantly, even to land this much weaker contest and then you need to factor in his tackling the all-weather for the first time.

Band Of Steel seemed to regress on a promising debut at Chelmsford when a well beaten fifth at Goodwood next time out which was only a week ago on soft ground and this is a relatively quick reappearance.

Gozo looks the more interesting. Trained by Ian Williams he has shown promise in fourth in both starts at Leicester and Goodwood despite starting at big odds on both occasions and this could be an opening.


⭕ 8.00 Wolverhampton Global Effort and She’s Centimental should fight this out as the market suggests with preference very much for the latter.

Global Effort comes with a wealth warning. He’s been a beaten favourite in two of his three starts at 10/11 and 6/5 and is now having his first start for 127 days and his first since being gelded. Worth noting also that he’s so far been partnered by Silvestre De Sousa who was unable to conjure up a win. Talented apprentice Stefano Cherchi is now in the saddle.

It all doesn’t convince me to play at short odds and She’s Centimental looks safer. She made a really pleasing start for Alice Haynes at Southwell finishing second to Red Treasure who has run well since.

She’s likely to improve for the run too and might leave Global Effort as a horse that doesn’t know how to win but who does know how to lose – ‘Gordon’ would be proud!


5.10 Redcar (win 10)
BET 3.8pts win CITY VAULTS

6.00 Wolverhampton (win 10)
BET 1.7pts win GOZO

8.00 Wolverhampton (win 10, nap)

What are points? Points facilitate a staking plan, which is the secret to creating profit. One point is whatever you choose: a pound, a euro, or whatever ….

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.

Did you know? DAQMAN’s tips are posted each and every day so he’s always on hand to help with your horse racing betting.