Daryl Carter Tips

Daryl Carter's Tips: Varian & De Sousa can strike with 3pt NAP

Daryl Carter.
Daryl Carter's NAP runs at Chester.

Daryl Carter heads to Chester for four Friday selections, and he says his NAP is well handicapped to score on seasonal return...

  • Varian and Du Sousa team up with the NAP at Chester

  • It's now or never for Dancing Magic

  • A fresh Law Of The Sea can bounce back at Chester

Chester Cup Superboost

Day three of Chester's May meeting brings the feature race of the week in the Chester Cup.

Today we are boosting the favourite Aztec Empire to finish in the top 7.

You can back the Andrew Balding trained horse to finish in the top 7 in the 15:40 at Chester at the Superboost price of 1/12.00 from 2/71.29.

Ah, now I remember the frustration with the flat festival meetings. The ITV races are priced well in advance, leaving the markets to mature for 48 hours before the remainder of the card is up. That's okay if you're solely focusing on those races, but it's a pain if you fancy one in them but have another one or two outside of those televised races. Sitting, waiting and hoping that a price holds is frustrating work. A good example is the 13:50 at Ascot tomorrow and American Bay. I genuinely made him a 5/2 shot, and I couldn't believe my eyes when one firm went as big as 10/111.00 on the opening show.

Unfortunately, I've had to watch that go from 10/111.00 to 7/18.00 to 11/26.50 to 9/25.50, and I still had him entirely written in the copy to advise backing at the last price. However, he has since moved into 9/43.25 with continued support, so I had to scrap the bet. He has a good chance of landing the money, but I won't go chasing markets.

Another I was keen to play but wanted 4/15.00 or bigger was Order Of Malta at 16:50 at Chester. The case is simple: he is well handicapped and unexposed. However, the market has not missed it and his price is too short to be taking about one that may improve for a seasonal return and will ideally want 1m6f in time.

Perhaps I am letting two winners go on Friday in the form of the above, but price is key.

13:30 Chester - Back Dancing Magic @ 10/34.33 1.5pt

One that has seen small support is Dancing Magic - 10/34.33 on the Betfair Sportsbook - who had me in a muddle when working on this race. He is bred for middle distances and further, and the immediate concern is whether this speed test around Chester will shock the system.

However, pace has never been his issue. He was prominent in a fast-run Dante at York last term. He contributed to a solid early gallop in the Emirates Autumn Stakes in 2022, while how he travelled at Newbury on return from a gelding operation suggests this sharper test may suit him.

He was a big eye-catcher at Newbury, and although his record of 0-12 is a little offputting, his connections have aimed far too high with him in his short career. He was a big eye-catcher at Newbury on seasonal return and his second start in a handicap, and the assessor has been quick to relent, dropping him 10 lbs in his last four runs.

He looked better than ever at Newbury, and under the vigorous handling of William Buick today, it would be highly disappointing should he not go close from a good birth in stall three. This sharper test will tell connections plenty, and if he lacks the kick inside the final furlong to which he should travel well, then he is only worth considering over middle-staying distances.

However, this is one of the most straightforward assignments he has had to date, and he can't go unbacked, given the promise of his return run.

Revich was brilliant in winning this race last year for this column, and Boardman is a horse I like to back on his second outing. They have good records here, along with Master Zoffany. However, none are improving, and the latter would prefer a slower surface. The standout candidate is Dancing Magic, and if he can finally put it all together, he could win this by a street.

Back him at 10/34.33 or bigger.

14:35 Chester - Back Botanical @ 10/34.33 3pt (NAP)

Botanical - 10/34.33 on the Betfair Sportsbook - did nothing but improve throughout last term, and he is taken to pick up where he left off on his seasonal debut. He went from strength to strength, finding only the run of the race against him at Ascot when tried in a first-time hood (quickly disgraded next time) and the smart Dubai Group 1 winner Measured Time at Kempton outside his debut run.

The Kempton run saw him finish the race with running left, and that's strong form considering the winner bolted up off of a rating of 91 on his handicap debut before finishing second in a Listed event behind the 109-rated Lion's Pride and then landing a Group 2 and Group 1 contest in Meydan and finished less than two lengths off the winner in the Dubai World Turf.

Measured time is now rated 116, and Botanical made a mockery of his opening handicap rating of 87 at Hamilton when a winner for this column last October. He slammed Mr Professor on unfavoured ground. The runner-up is now rated higher than the selection on 98, having won the Lincoln on his seasonal debut.

Crack Shot's win at Newmarket further boosted his form this season, so overall, his profile is very positive.

Roger Varian's runner is entirely unexposed and has the potential to be mixed into a pattern company in due course.

Bolster didn't back up his victory on his seasonal debut last year, so how he will fair remains to be seen. City Streak rates a significant player if he comes on for his Bath outing - he appreciates it here.

Still, the selection easily holds the most potential in the line-up and rates the best bet of the entire day. The booking of Silvestre De Sousa for this yard this year has seen a 44% strike rate, and they are already becoming profitable due to follow. One suspects the selection will be fully wound up for today.

I am happy to play him at 3/14.00 or bigger.

15:40 Chester - Back The Shunter @ 17/29.50 1pt

A smashing Chester Cup is in order and loads in with chances, but the first horse that caught my eye was our Cesarewitch Handicap winner, The Shunter -17/29.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

Emmet Mullins would have eyed this prize from some way out for his dual-purpose Newmarket hero, and the booking of the instrumental Ben Coen is undoubtedly by design.

He is an 11-year-old, but he has only had six starts on the flat, and he already brings the most potent form to the race when touching off Pied Piper at Newmarket. At the same time, a handful of those runs were in preparation for the big day last October.

The track should hold no fears, having won over 1m5f in his Maiden at the sharp-turning track at Sligo. While the negatives are exceptionally difficult to pinpoint, he can go well here with some luck in running.

I am happy to take a chance with him at 8/19.00 or bigger.

16:15 Chester - Back Law Of The Sea @ BSP

Ian Williams won this race last year with Zinc White under Jim Crowley, and I expect Law Of The Sea to be fully wound up for a crack at this consolation prize, having been unlucky not to win the main event last term.

Connections have rightly lowered its sights after a "nearly" campaign last term, and this is now a 0-90 contest. Law Of The Sea sets the form standard in defeat, but he is vulnerable to an improver, and I can't say I like their persistence with the headgear.

However, catching him fresh off a break may cause him to dispel his dismal end to last season. His excellent fourth at Royal Ascot was an eye-catching effort when attempting to cover another six furlongs of ground by tracking widest of all.

The return to a sharper track is positive, as is the drying ground conditions, so with his sights lowered, now may be the time to catch him.

I am happy to take a chance at 6/17.00 or bigger. Prince Alex is a clear danger.

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2024 P/L = Next update (monthly) June 1st

2024 P/L = +74.43 ROI 18.10%

BSP P/L = +79.1 ROI 19.34%

2024 P/L Ante-post = +4


2021 P/L = +187pts 12% ROI

2022 P/L = + 137.1pts ROI 8.72% +22.7pts BSP 1.44% ROI

2023 P/L = +112.63pts ROI 8.86% +99.4pts BSP 7.84% ROI

2023 P/L (Incl ante) Total = +146.63 ROI 11.5%


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.