Daggers drift down to Docksider factor

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The Independent Online
The mysterious forces which govern ante-post betting were in evidence at Doncaster yesterday, as the winner of the season's best two-year-old event immediately drifted in the lists for next year's 2,000 Guineas, while a horse who was standing in his box 200 miles away moved in the other direction.

Daggers Drawn set off as the 4-6 favourite for the Champagne Stakes, so his victory was hardly unexpected, but a half-length defeat of Docksider was hardly the procession which many punters had turned up to enjoy. Those who have already taken a short price for the 1998 Guineas will console themselves with the thought that, when asked to quicken from a less than promising position, Daggers Drawn responded decisively. Once ahead, however, he did not go clear, unlike Central Park, who quickly put five lengths between himself and Docksider when winning Goodwood's Richmond Stakes.

Thus it was Central Park who accelerated towards the top of the Classic betting with most bookmakers, and Paul Cole's colt is now as short as 7-1 (from 9-1) with the Tote. Only Ladbrokes refused to budge, leaving Central Park on 14-1, with Daggers Drawn unchanged on 5-1, a decision which some backers will no doubt wish to quibble with this morning.

Of course, any involvement at this stage is probably a waste of money, at least before Daggers Drawn's next test in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket next month. "Kieren [Fallon] was very happy with him," Henry Cecil, the colt's trainer, said. "He said he would have quickened again if he had needed to."

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