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CUP CAN BE ANOTHER TURNING POINT FOR DAQMAN: The John Smith’s Cup at York is in its right slot on Saturday, as race planners have caught up. Daqman has also been playing catch-up in the truncated season but the Cup marks his turning point last year when he picked the winner at 21.0 and 16.0 on BETDAQ and backed it to score 50 points as the nap of the day. Yes, a 14-1 (SP) nap. Can he do it again? Story below.

CHAMPAGNE NAPS DOUBLE AND A DAY-BY-DAY PROFIT: Daqman’s had a steady flow of champagne this week with back-to-back naps and a profit every day, thanks to his clever staking plan. Today one winner from his three picks will guarantee a profit at latest prices.

WON 4-7 FIRST WINTER (Monday, from evens BETDAQ)
WON 11-8 CHAMPAGNE TERRI (last night at Ayr)


Nap up at 14-1. How many times does that happen? Flashback to July 13 last year and a confident Daqman headlined ‘Pivoine Power At Betdaq 16.0’ for the John Smith’s Cup.

He wrote: ‘A double-figure draw has won this eight years out of 10, as middle numbers tend to cut across to the rail and make life difficult on the first bend for those from the low stalls.

‘Pivoine did just that from stall 12 in a field of 15 here last August. You would now hope to see him make an early break down the rail from gate six.

‘Around 16.0 from early 21.0 in the BETDAQ orange, Pivoine has been flirting with the Pattern in Group-3 races and over the wrong trip. Today’s his chance to redeem himself, back in his class over the right trip.’

The blurb the following day? Daqman didn’t just pick a 16.0 winner yesterday; he didn’t just land his nap: no, he combined the bets for a 14-1 (SP) bull’s-eye nap in the John Smith’s Cup.

‘It was only the 11th time this year that he has made a win-50 bet his best of the day. Six of them have now won, thanks to Pivoine for a profit of 263 points. Pivoine also pushed Daqman 47-23 ahead of Pricewise’.

On Saturday, Pivoine goes for the double, unbeaten in two visits to York. Only Prominent (1971-2) and Chaumiere (1985-6) have managed back-to-back John Smith’s wins.

And Daqman? He is currently 16-6 up on Pricewise, 244.50 in front to 10-point level stakes, despite the truncated season.


⭕ 1.10 Yarmouth Fast Start is worth persevering with, despite being outclassed at Royal Ascot last time out in the Windsor Castle over 5f.

This 7f looks a much more ideal trip for the son of Dubawi who showed promise behind Lauded on debut at Haydock.

Back at this level, he can prove hard to beat under Cieren Fallon on his third start. We obviously need to respect the chance of the Roger Varian trained Boomshalaa who very much makes the market for us. Hopefully race experience will help us get the better of the 350,000gns newcomer.

Mark Johnston’s Zookeeper showed plenty of speed on debut when third at Doncaster and looks best of the rest.


⭕ 2.40 Yarmouth Aristocratic Lady is the ‘sexy’ horse of the race in terms of form figures and scope for improvement but the bare form of her Leicester win first time out this season is questionable.

She beat a couple of outsiders and starts life off in handicap company on a mark of 78.

I don’t think she is as thrown in as the market would lead you to believe and there’s a solid rival in the shape of Spirited Guest who brings the best form into the race with his head second to Badayel at Windsor last time out.

Cieren Fallon (hopefully a winner already in the 1.10) rides for the first time and I’m getting close on to double the BETDAQ odds compared to the favourite.

In golf terms, I think Spirited Guest is in the clubhouse with a one stroke lead. Aristocratic Lady needs to birdie the last to win – she might well of course do that but, as ever, price dictates.


⭕ 4.20 Catterick I thought the North Yorkshire card looked tough and wasn’t planning a bet until reviewing the final race over a mile and a half.

Layers are clearly taking no chances with the Sir Mark Prescott trained Caribeno but he looks far too short in the market – even for a weak handicap like this.

I’m never keen on taking on Sir M once his horses are on a winning sequence as he has the canny knack of staying ahead of the handicapper but in the case of Caribeno that elusive first win hasn’t yet come and now visors are on instead of cheekpieces.

They will need to make quite a big difference as although he was third last time out over this trip, he was beaten 10 lengths and the Prescott/Morris axis are not invincible at the moment as we saw yesterday when they had two favourites beaten at Ayr – including Glen Force at 4/6.

Barney Bullet might be the value alternative. He beat Lizzie Loch and Ezanak at Musselburgh last time out and that pair both ran well again in the same race at Ayr this week when they swapped the form around.

‘Barney’ was having his first start for Rebecca Menzies and the handicapper has been quite kind in putting him up by just 2lb. Given he looks rejuvenated for the change of stables – a follow up could easily be on the cards.

DAQMAN’S BETS (all staked to win 10 points)
BET 4.1pts win (nap) FAST START (1.10 Yarmouth)
BET 2.2pts win SPIRITED GUEST (2.40 Yarmouth)
BET 1.4pts win BARNEY BULLET (4.20 Catterick)

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