BIG-RACE TREBLE ON THE CARDS FOR DAQMAN: Look out at the weekend when Daqman will be doing what Daqman is good at, picking big-race winners. He’s 7-2 in front of Pricewise, 35 points clear, and he’s so hungry for more, he’s already checking out three fantastic feature events on Saturday and Sunday. He looks at the stats and form (below).

HE GETS COVER FROM A PLACE ON A 50-1 SHOT: A brave place return from his tilt at a BETDAQ 50-1 shot at Wolverhampton just about paid for Daqman’s day yesterday. He was opposing an even-money favourite with Compton Brave (3RD 10-1). The favourite finished unplaced.


1.30 Aintree, Sunday (Becher Chase) It was the old red lion last year (Vieux Lion Rouge) but Saturday over the Grand National fences has Blaklion, the Aintree fourth, heading the market.

He also heads the handicap bar one, The Last Samuri, who was third in the 2016 Becher behind Vieux Lion Rouge and Highland Lodge, all three of them back for more.

The Last Samuri will be 10lb better off for a length and a short-head but, like Blaklion, is the wrong side of the weights. No winner in seven seasons has carried more than 10st 12lb.

The 2015 winner and last year’s second, Highland Lodge is sitting pretty off 10st 5lb, only a pound more than in 2016.

How do their ratings look alongside Blaklion? We have collateral form from the Haydock Park Grand National Trial in February when Blaklion was three-and-a-quarter lengths off Vieux Lion Rouge, giving the winner 6lb.

2.55 Sandown, Saturday (Tingle Creek Chase) Paul Nicholls has won this with two five-year-olds and a six-year-old in the decade and it would be no surprise to see Politologue, who is six, taking on Willie Mullins’ stars, Douvan and last year’s winner, Un De Sceaux.

2.00 Punchestown, Sunday (John Durkan Chase) If Douvan and Un de Sceaux go to Sandown, it could leave Gold Cup hero Sizing John with Sunday’s big chase in the bag.


1.45 Lingfield After my 50-1 chancer yesterday, I’ll try 21.0 offer Lady of Steel who showed promise on the last day for handler John Butler and jockey Daniel Muscutt, who are 2-3 together.

1.55 Haydock Venetia Williams saves up her best novice hurdlers for Haydock (she is 4-6 in that type of race there). Her bumper winner, Shivermetimbers, is a price (3.4 on BETDAQ) because of the Flat record of Niblawi but that one’s stable is currently struggling with one success from 32 starters.

2.05 Ludlow Moss On The Hill, a winner here first run back last season, has got his ground today and is too big at 9.6 on BETDAQ, as I write.

Crystal lad is alongside him in the betting on potential only, and Duelling Banjos disappointed me last time out, but Durham National winner Audacious Plan is clearly a necessary stakes saver.

3.30 Haydock Nicky Richards has just struck form (2-4 still standing) and One For Harry, who had a run back at Carlisle in November, likes the heavy ground. BETDAQ 6.4 taken.


5.00 Newcastle Fancy anything for the Arc next year? Just when you’re despairing of the dross at the gaff tracks this week, here comes a reminder that you must always be on the alert, looking for something special in appearance, breeding and potential.

Would you believe that Enable won this race last year! In analysing the result, the Racing Post racereader wrote: ‘She looks capable of going on to better things.’ Understatement of the decade.

Her jockey in this last year was Rob Havlin, who rides Ruffina for the same yard this time around. A good second at Kempton a month ago.

Her stablemate, Arahat, is from a family of high-ranking winners on dirt in America and it’s a first-time surprise we’re looking for.

The BETDAQ market was unsettled when I checked it out this morning, so I’ll split my stake on this John Gosden pair.

6.00 Newcastle Henry Candy takes his first trip to the Tapeta track at Newcastle with a Kempton winner, King Of Nepal. But he’s not the horse we saw at the London track.

He’s been gelded and had a wind op, ‘working like a dream’ recently, and in to 6.0 favourite on BETDAQ this morning.

DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20 points unless stated)
BET 1pt win and place LADY OF STEEL (1.45 Lingfield)
BET 8.25pts win SHIVERMETIMBERS (1.55 Haydock)
BET 2.25pts win and place MOSS ON THE HILL, and 1.5 pts win (stakes saver) AUDACIOUS PLAN (2.05 Ludlow)
BET 3.75pts win ONE FOR HARRY (3.30 Haydock)
BET (split stakes at SP): 4pts win on each ARAHAT and RUFFINA (5.00 Newcastle)
BET 4pts win (nap) KING OF NEPAL (6.00 Newcastle)

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