Double Dutch, 11th January 2014
A terribly frustrating day yesterday or frustratingly terrible, depending on which angle you view it from, I suppose! Either way, it wasn't great.
The best I could manage was a 5/2 runner-up in the opener, which caused much of the frustration, as Kuanyao was headed pretty much on the line after veering off a true line. He'd not have been caught if kept straight!
This rendered race 2 irrelevant for the double and just as well really as the by then odds-on Clear Spell could only finish 3rd in a 5-horse race, after never really getting going until too late on, despite Luke Morris' efforts to wake him up.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Kuanyao: 2nd at 9/4 SP (adv 5/2)
Ocean Legend: 3rd at 5/4 SP (adv 13/8)
Clear Spell : 3rd of 5 at 4/5! (adv at evens)
Ganymede : last of 5 at 9/4! (adv 5/2)
Results to date:
115 winning selections from 395 = 29.11%
36 winning doubles in 106 days = 33.96%
P/L : +14.93pts (+7.11% ROI)
We're not moving too far today:
The Liquidator loves the soft conditions underfoot (2111 on soft or heavy) and comes here seeking a 5th win in his last 6 runs. This is no easy contest, but as a Grade 1 & 2 winner in the past, he knows what he's up against. He was highly impressive at Cheltenham last November when winning by 15 lengths ahead of the generally very good Sea Lord. He's 2/2 over hurdles this season and has already proven he can handle the sharpness of the minimum trip. He looks a good bet at 9/4 BOG with bet365 and PP.
Upazo is an interesting Irish raider from the Mullins yard. It took this one a while to get going, but comes here in great form seeking a hat-trick. He gets the trip comfortably and loves the soft ground. He beat Fosters Cross by a good ten lengths four weeks ago and although this will be a tougher test, I'd expect a big run from him at a generally available 7/2 BOG.
There may well be six runners set to go to post for this, but it surely has to be a shoot-out between Galician and Grey Mirage.
Galician is in sparkling, consistent form (2232331) culminating in a C&D victory here a fortnight ago. At 102, she's easily the best-rated horse in the race, but receives a 5lb mares' allowance making her the clear bottom weight here. She's very much at home in these small-fields races (23111 in races of 7 or less runners) and the 15/8 BOG (PP) on offer looks quite big/generous to me.
Grey Mirage, however, is no mug either. 5 wins and 7 places from 14 A/W runs is a decent record and placed in each of his last four runs, including a comfortable win at Kempton two starts ago, backed up by a narrow defeat (0.5 lengths behind the useful Mont Ras) at the same venue last time out. It's true that his best work comes over 7f and the extra furlong will test him here, but if kept handy could get towed along to mount a challenge at 5/2 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
The Liquidator / Galician @ 8.34/1 (PP 9/4 & 15/8)
The Liquidator / Grey Mirage @ 10.38/1 (PP 9/4 & 5/2)
Upazo / Galician @ 11.94/1 (Coral 7/2 & 15/8)
Upazo / Grey Mirage @ 14.75/1 (BetVictor & Stan James 7/2 & 5/2)