Double Dutch, 11th March 2014
Another good day for DD yesterday with another successful double and a nice Exacta/Forecast thrown in for good measure.
Gotoyourplay made light work of a two-year absence, travelling and jumping well before hitting the front at the third last fence. He readily built up a 7 lengths lead without being overextended and could be one to back again next time out.
Race 2 saw the continuation of Anthony Honeyball's welcomed return to form, as Solstice Son beat our other selection Brantingham Breeze by three lengths with the next horse some 33 lengths further back. An ease in the SP from our 5/2 out to 7/2 about the winner not only helped us get a 14.75/1 double, but the exacta paid a decent £10.20 to round off an excellent 15 minutes or so.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Gotoyourplay: won at 5/2 (adv 7/2)
Giles Cross: PU at 9/2 (adv 5/1)
Solstice Son: won at 5/2 (adv 9/4)
Brantingham Breeze: 2nd at 11/4 (adv 9/4)
(The Exacta paid £10.20)
Results to date:
176 winning selections from 618 = 28.49%
59 winning bets in 163 days = 36.20%
P/L : +49.64pts (+15.42% ROI)
Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival today, but I'll think we'll have more chance of success with some of NH's lesser lights up in the North East today:
The good to soft ground should suit Talkin Thomas today, just as it did last time he came here. he was a staying-on third over an inadequately short 2m 0.5f back in October off a mark just 2lbs lower than today. He ran off today's 110 at Newcastle last time out, where he wasn't disgraced in finishing third over today's trip, less than 4 lengths off the pace. The winner, the fourth and the fifth from that race have all gone on to win since and a similar effort to that produced at Newcastle should be enough to land a poor-looking affair here at odds of 11/4 BOG with BetVictor and Boylesports.
The main danger is expected to come from Tiny Dancer, who is currently the marginal favourite at 5/2 BOG although Stan James are currently offering 11/4 BOG. He has been in decent form of late finishing 212 in his last three starts. He comes here on the back of a run at Catterick six days ago, which was probably too long for him and he now drops back to 2m4f which should suit him much better.
He was a winner over 2m5f two starts ago and although he didn't have the cleanest of rounds, he still was able to score by over 20 lengths. Horses beaten, but placed who turn out within a week of that last defeat tend to do really well over fences and this could easily be the case today in a weaker race than his latest run.
Prince Blackthorn comes here seeking a hat-trick of Course and Distance victories. He will have the benefit of a six-week rest and should be fresh enough to tackle the burden of a 6lb rise, a task made easier by the presence of much better ground than his last win which came in heavy going. he has won on good to soft in the past and has struck up a good relationship with jockey Brian Harding (38411). With just the four progressively improving efforts (8411) over fences, he's still unexposed in this sphere and may still have more to give. I'd take him to land this at 2/1 BOG.
Ancient Times won a C&D chase here 13 months ago and followed it up with a narrow (3/4 length) defeat over the same track and trip 10 days later. He has run nine times over this trip in the past, winning three times and finishing as runner-up on four occasions, so I'd expect him to be there or thereabouts again today. That kind of consistent profile makes him an ideal back-up bet at 3/1 BOG with PP. 3lb claimer Kyle James takes the ride today and he is 9/41 (22% SR) for 18pts (+43.9% ROI) on Philip Kirby's horses over the last year or so and 8/19 (42.1%SR) for 20.5pts (+107.9% ROI) on those priced under 6/1.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Tiny Dancer / Prince Blackthorn @ 10.25/1 (11/4 & 2/1 : Stan James)
Tiny Dancer / Ancient Times @ 13.06/1 (11/4 & 11/4 : Stan James)
Talkin Thomas / Prince Blackthorn @ 10.25/1 (11/4 & 2/1 in most places)
Talkin Thomas / Ancient Times @ 14/1 (11/4 & 3/1 : Betfair Sportsbook & PP)