68 POINTS FROM DAQMAN SIX HIT: Daqman landed a super SIX winning bets yesterday, unbeaten in four races, including nap, double and treble, mainly at Bangor but with the best bet Mixboy at Musselburgh. The winners were:

WON 11-4 Cabragh (double)
WON 5-2 Truckers Glory
WON 7-4 Petite Power (double)
WON 6-4 Mixboy (nap, treble)

SPOT THE IMPROVERS: Daqman’s not keen on spending his winnings today: his stakes are down for a modest card at Hereford, which cancelled their morning inspection. But he reveals one of his methods to trap big-odds Cheltenham winners: The Improver who could overtake the stars, in this case for the Champion Hurdle.


Improve your chances of winning. That is literally the case if you check out the Improvers, horses making their way up the ladder, as opposed to those who are static or in decline.

The Cheltenham big-race trail is all about young animals on the upgrade. Which hurdlers aged six and seven are likely to improve enough to catch the old hands?

Only two horses in the decade (2-10) have won the Champion Hurdle aged older than 7, and one of those was a repeat winner.

In fact, if you delete sequence horses – those that have won the race more than once – 14 of 17 winners since 1994 have been aged younger than 8. This year’s older horses, with their rating, are:

176 Faugheen (12 wins and a second out of 13)
166 Annie Power (15 wins out of 16 still standing)
163 The New One (Five in a row 2014-15)
155 Vroum Vroum Mag (13 wins out of 18)
154 My Tent Or Yours (Six out of seven 2013-14)

The young pretenders are headed by Yanworth and the Nicky Henderson pair, Brain Power and Petit Mouchoir. Their recent exploits have put them right up there with yesterday’s elite.

Apple’s Jade is seen to have beaten a short-of-her-best Vroum Vroum Mag and Nichols Canyon has been static in the ratings now for more than a year, so it’s difficult to assess Petit Mouchoir’s achievement in beating him: the handicapper puts them alongside.

Petit Mouchoir is 10.0 in the BETDAQ Champion Hurdle ante-post orange this morning, while Brain Power is 20-1 with Ladbrokes.

164 Yanworth (Six out of seven; ratings revise after defeat of The New One)
162 Brain Power (Up 20lb for two races in December in 9-race career)
162 Nichols Canyon (Static now for more than a year; had 25 races)
162 Petit Mouchour (Ratings rise after his defeat of Nichols Canyon)
153 Apple’s Jade (Static this year but career of only eight races)


12.55 Hereford Five-time Points winner Galros Lady (7.0 on BETDAQ this morning) won first time over regulation fences at Lingfield in November but ran flat when asked to make a quick return just six days later. Has had a rest since and will appreciate the drying ground.

1.25 Hereford The world and his wife will be on Harry Whittington’s Ruby Yeats after the stable’s recent hat-trick.

As with so many others, Ruby’s new surroundings (she came from Harry Fry) changed her attitude first time back on a racecourse but the 40-1 win was clearly a surprise to connections and Whittington calls in a claimer to offset the rise in weight, as if he’s well nervous about her second run.

Ruby is officially 6lb worse off with the runner-up, Miss Night Owl, who was caught napping after racing clear of the third one home and is well regarded by Tom George and Adrian Heskin.

The stable also scored three times in late December: 5.6 this morning on BETDAQ for what looks like a trade bet, given her racing style.

On Towcester showing, Katy P has to improve her jumping, and Verdana Blue was made favourite first time over hurdles but failed to jump a twig.

The morning favourite Canoodle is a tough, little engine but I can see Miss Night Owl getting her at full stretch here.

1.55 Hereford Noel Fehily has a 55% strike rate on the reopened Hereford track (6-11) and is in top gear, with his current form figures 111120011012 still standing.

He is 25% generally for trainer Harry Fry and Charmix is the first of two rides for the stable today. Noel needs to improve the seven-year-old’s jumping.

In fact (third time lucky?) this could be Charmix’ last chance to shine over fences; otherwise we might see him redirected to something like the Neptune (he’s a 145 hurdler).

Dig Deeper is an old-fashioned chasing type, very well related but not seen for more than a year. Kris Spin, returning after a similar lay-off, was a very expensive bridesmaid in 2015, with form of 222122223.

Nesterenko would have a stone to find with Charmix over hurdles but will love the drying ground, and is switched from Nicky Henderson to Venetia Williams, who has landed three winners since New Year’s Eve. Could ‘Nester’ do a Ruby Yeats and surprise first time?

The Greenvet won a big field Point in Ireland, jumping 14 country obstacles well enough and could be the one to spring the surprise at 28.0 offers in this nothing race.

2.25 Hereford You can’t completely dismiss horses of 11, 12, 13 and even 15 years of age but, with the race having cut up badly, it’s hard to see one of them winning if there’s a sprint finish.

Working Title scored well enough at Sedgefield but this is surely a quick return for this veteran after just nine days’ break, and I see 3.25 on BETDAQ as a lay rather than a bet.

But Alan Jones will have his work cut out again to get Lake Chapala racing, and it says a lot for his skill and perseverance that he’s managed to overcome the gelding ‘s mulishness and jumping errors to get him home first then second within four days in November.

Trainer Tim Vaughan, whose stables are in Welsh Wales, will be hoping that Lake Chapala has forgotten all about it.

Fieldsofsilk is 10 (yes, TEN) years younger than Working Title but I prefer anothe of the day’s bridesmaids, Yourholidayisover (4.8 offers).

Gets bags of weight all round, stable had a winner on Boxing Day and, with eight chases to his name, has more experience than his opponentc put together.

Narrowly beaten on today’s course in November, when 19 lengths clear of the third horse, and will appreciate the better ground.


2.55 and 3.25 Hereford Noel Fehily for Harry Fry again (An Siltean), which is where I came in.

But another trainer who had three winners at the turn of the year, Warren Greatrex seems to have a useful sort here in Keeper Hill (4.6 on BETDAQ) whose dam was half-sister to a champion hurdler.

Westendorf has some growing up to do but scored at Leicester in today’s conditcions. Jameson is a worry, as any Nicky Henderson hurdler is, but keeping him at this level and adding the hood suggests that he is not much confidence in him.

Strong Pursuit looks a standout in the second division (3.25) after his Wincanton win and is taken as the hub of my Daq Multiples.

3.55 Hereford Keel Haul could be the day’s hidden horse. Henry Oliver used Richard Johnson to land a winner on the last day of 2016, and has another job for him here, riding this beast for the first time.

Keel Haul (9.0 on BETDAQ) drops two or three grades at the same time as his hurdles rating is cut 12lb below his chase mark.

DAQMAN BETS (staked 1 to 9 for strength)
BACK 3pts win GALROS LADY (12.55 Hereford)
BACK 5pts win MISS NIGHT OWL (1.25 Hereford)
BACK 1pt win and place THE GREENVET and 2pts win (stakes saver) CHARMIX (1.55 Hereford)
BACK 5pts win YOURHOLIDAYISOVER (2.25 Hereford)
BACK 6pts win (nap) KEEPER HILL (2.55 Hereford)
BACK 2pts win and place KEEL HAUL (3.55 Hereford)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 3 x 3pt win doubles and 1pt win treble Strong Pursuit (3.25 Hereford), Yourholidayisover (2.25 Hereford) and Keeper Hill (2.55 Hereford)

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