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DAQMAN’S WEEKEND PREVIEW: It’s the match of the day – match of the year? – on Saturday, depending on which paper you buy. But Daqman discovers that there is more than one match of the day, as he previews the weekend highlights at Ascot and Haydock and then at Navan on Sunday.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY AT 8.8: Daqman was left thinking what might have been after his 8.8 BETDAQ bet Creationist (2ND 4-1) was beaten on the line at Kempton yesterday, coming too soon. To be fair to jockey Jason Watson, the pace was slow and he had so much horse under him that he took the lead a furlong out, and came again when headed. A longer trip might help.


⚠️ HEADS UP! The clash of two great chasers, Cyrname and Altior, separated by just a pound in the ratings, has hit the headlines in previews for Ascot on Saturday.

But there’s a rival for match of the day in the very next race, when the last two winners of the Ascot Hurdle meet in what is now the Coral Hurdle: Lil Rockerfeller and If The Cap Fits.

Cap’s trainer, Harry Fry, has also won this race recently with Rock On Ruby, and Nicky Henderson, who has won it with Oscar Whisky and Zaynar, now saddles Call Me Lord, one-time 16-lengths winner over Lil Rockerfeller at Sandown.

⚠️ HEADS UP! And another rematch: Caid Du Loin and Speredek, first and second in the Hurst Park Chase – race six on the Saturday Ascot card – are expected to meet again, with Speredek fancied to get revenge, 10lb better off for little more than a length.

⚠️ HEADS UP: Yet another, perhaps the biggest, Saturday match in the Lancashire Chase could see a clash of Bristol De Mai and Lostintranslation.

It’s certainly the one with most needle: Nigel Twiston-Davies has challenged a bullish Team Tizzard: ‘Your talk is cheap. Lostintransltion still has to prove it.’

⚠️ HEADS UP: Sunday’s big race is the Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at Navan, which Gordon Elliott won four years in a row, until last November his squad of ELEVEN failed to get any nearer than fifth.

How many probables does he have in the race on Sunday? You guessed it, there is again a Gordon Elliott X1 potentially going in to bat, with Kerry National runner-up, Ravenhill, likely to be shortest in the betting.


6.10 Kempton (Hyde Stakes Listed) A decent Listed race to look forward to here with the Hyde Stakes over a mile and it should go the way of the three-year-old Khuzaam for trainer Roger Varian.

He’s up in class but that’s hardly surprising given his absolute romp over course and distance last month when bounded clear (that was the official comment in running) to win by eight lengths!

The handicapper doesn’t like being embhassased and he’s been put up a full stone, so it is no surprise to see him switching to this for a bid at some Black Type.

He still needs to improve further but is 2/2 at Kempton, relatively lightly raced and that improvement looks highly likely.

The Dean Ivory trained Librisa Breeze is officially the best in the race, despite getting bogged down in heavy ground at Newbury last time out. He is better judged on a cracking effort in the Group 2 Hungerford at Newbury when a half length runner-up to Glorious Journey.

It’s hard to know though whether he can reproduce that level of form on the all-weather and this is his first start on an artificial surface since 2016.

The Richard Hannon trained War Glory has won three of his last four starts on Polytrack but they have come over seven furlongs and he might not be as effective, at this higher level, over the longer trip.

7.10 Kempton Purdey’s Gift was stepped up to this trip for the first time at Wolverhampton last time out and won with plenty in hand.

He has only had five career starts and his run two starts ago here is best ignored as he was snatched up a furlong out when just getting into it. He looked unlucky and so it proved with his win next time out.

The Andrew Balding trained runner is selected to go back to back off a 4lb higher mark and where his main market rival is Fearless Wonder who, more often than not, finds one too good.

7.40 Kempton Slade King is running well and can gain a deserved win in this competitive finale.

We need to take the chance that he can be as effective on the all-weather but his effort last time out at Sandown looked a career best when he finished third to the John Gosden trained Sucellus. He was staying on well up the Sandown hill over that 1m 2f trip giving every hope this extra distance will suit.

I will go for a WIN 10 in both the BETDAQ win and place markets.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 10 points each)
BET 6.8pts win (nap) KHUZAAM (6.10 Kempton)
BET 5.8pts PURDEY’S GIFT (7.10 Kempton)
BET 2.0pts win and 7.pts place SLADE KING (7.40 Kempton)

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