NOW A BULL’S-EYE NEWBURY NAP: They keep having Boxing Day! This is the fourth day of mammoth Christmas cards, packed with top action, and Daqman pulls a cracker 9.9 bull’s-eye nap from the Newbury card.
TOMORROW: COUNTDOWN TO 2022: Look out for Daqman’s review of 2021 and new bets for 2022.
PORTER PRIZE WAS POACHED
Porter was floored. My nap for the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown yesterday, Flooring Porter, beaten only two lengths, lost much more than that at the start when Klassical Dream, took off before flag fall.
Flag still raised, the starter turned to press his little red button and missed the moment Klassical Dream launched himself into a five-lengths lead.
This poached the front-running role of Flooring Porter, with his rider, Danny Mullins, shouting for a false start and then, gritting his teeth, having to chase all the way.
Klassical Dream, ridden by Paul Townend yesterday, had caused a false start under Ruby Walsh at Cheltenham when he won the 2019 Supreme Novices Hurdle.
He looks no good thing for the Stayers’ Hurdle, as worried trainer Willie Mullins admitted after the race: ‘He had a hard race today and I doubt I’ll be running him before Cheltenham: he needs more time; then, when he gets to the race, he’s fresh and wants to get on with it.’ You can say that again.
Klassical Dream won at this Christmas meeting off a 391-day break three years ago, and took the Punchestown Champion Stayers Hurdle after 487 days away, with yesterday’s victory following 243-days’ holiday. But he has only 79 days now before Cheltenham.
Galvin nicked it. Fortune Cookies were robbed of seven straight winners when Galvin got up to pip A Plus Tard in the prestigious Savills Chase, but the ‘thief’ was 42-year-old veteran jockey Davy Russell in the dramatic ride he gave the winner.
* Fortune Cookies update tomorrow.
MULLINS ONE-TWO FORECAST
⭕ 1.10 Leopardstown The far-sighted Willie Mullins also trains 3.35 favourite Shewearsitwell in this Grade-3 mares’ hurdle, and his supporting act, Finest Evermore, another with long intervals of recovery or maturing, or is it simply that the few big Irish targets are so spaced out.
It doesn’t help nervous punters that Shewearsitwell hasn’t been seen for 451 days and Finest Evermore for 388 but, such is the Mullins supremacy, you can’t oppose them either. There must be many more ‘races’ won at Closutton than on the racetracks.
In public, Shewearsitwell completed her hat-trick in a Grade 3 novice at Tipperary 14 month ago.
Finest Evermore is also a hat-trick winner and clearly highly regarded at home, having been favourite for all four of the races she’s run under Mullins, yet 20.0 on BETDAQ this morning.
Dysart Diamond and Royal Kahala were one-two in a Punchestown Listed last month (Heaven Help Us and Tellmesomethingirl both behind).
ONTHEROPES IS BIG AT 6.9
⭕ 1.45 Leopardstown (Neville Hotel Novice Chase) Vanillier (BETDAQ 4.2) picks up the Fortune Cookies baton dropped right on the line by A Plus Tard yesterday.
From the same stable as Flooring Porter, Vanillier won the 3m Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
That makes the start of his chasing career over 2m 3f and in winning the Florida Pearl (2m 6f) at Punchestown all the more remarkable.
Today’s 3m is much more his line and he has been quoted around 10-1 for the NH Chase (3m 6f) at the Cheltenham Festival, at which he could face a rematch with today’s main rival, Run Wild Fred.
‘Fred’ has already had nine chases – won only one but rated 159 – and shown himself a marathon runner by finishing second in both the Thyestes Chase and the Irish Grand National.
Ontheropes won the Munster National and was fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. ‘Big’ at 6.9 on BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE
MONTE CRISTO CAN COUNT
⭕ 2.00 Newbury You can usually discard the older horses in this 2m 4f handicap hurdle; there have been no winners in the decade older than six, but Dashel Drasher, though eight now, going on nine, will be hard to beat.
He landed a hat-trick over fences early in the year, raising his chase rating above his 149 over hurdles, achieved with a four-timer nearly four years ago.
Winner of the NH Novices Handicap Hurdle in March, Beauport, at five, is one of the young improvers. But Monte Cristo looks worth a bet.
Like Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson gives them long breaks and Monte Cristo came back from one to win at Kempton on Boxing Day last year before being hampered as he faded on the Cheltenham hill in the Coral Cup in March after another holiday.
BETDAQ value 9.9 Monte Cristo
CRYPTO MANDARIN CURRENCY
⭕ 2.35 Newbury (Mandarin Chase) There was money last night for Wayfinder (brought down on his reappearance); he was also a gamble when he won at Chepstow 14 months ago.
David Pipe, who won the Lincolnshire National on Boxing Day, has a promising stayer in Gericault Roque (BETDAQ 5.2), and the unexposed Crypto (at 8.3) steps up in trip for Venetia Williams.
🤔 LAYS LOGIC Saint Palais is up 17lb for back-to-back wins and a four-year-old has never won this race, first run in 1963.
3.05 Newbury (Challow Novices Hurdle) Champ and Bravemansgame have been launched into the big time in this, and I shall be watching closely with the Fortune Cookies list in mind.
England and Ireland clash with Paul Nicholls’ Stage Star, unbeaten over hurdles including here, and Gordon Elliottt’s Gringo d’Aubrelle who, as a 3m Point winner, should appreciate the step up in trip.
⭕ 3.35 Newbury Front-running hurdles winner, Fern Hill, and was only just held on his chasing debut; lost the lead but came back strongly.
Flash Collonges has had more wind surgery after trailing in behind Ahoy Senor here at Newbury.
Duall hurdles winner Patroclus has always been regarded as a chaser in the making: 291 days off; sounds spot on for Nicky Henderson!
1.10 Leopardstown (win 10, win 20)
BET 4pts win SHEWEARSITWELL
BET 1pt win FINEST EVERMORE
BET 10pts win VANILLIER
BET 6pts to win 30 ONTHEROPES
2.00 Newbury (win 50 bull’s-eye nap)
BET 5.5pts win MONTE CRISTO
2.35 Newbury (win 20, win 10)
BET 2.75pts win CRYPTO
BET 2.5pts win GERICAULT ROQUE
3.05 Newbury (win 20, win 5)
BET 2.5pts win GRINGO D’AUBRELLE
BET 5pts win STAGE STAR
3.35 Newbury (win 10)
BET 4pts win FERN HILL
BET 2pts win PATROCLUS
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.