Double Dutch, 11th March 2015
My decision to swerve that exhibition of Irish jumping in Gloucester was vindicated as we landed another double on the sand at Southwell yesterday.
We got the ideal results too, with both our longer priced horses obliging, including the 7/1 shot I'd suggested taking an E/W single about too! As it was 7/1 BOG and 7/2 BOG winners combined for a tasty 35/1 double that "only paid" 11/1 at SP, further driving home the importance of the early price.
After a bit of a lean spell over the last week or so, we've bought ourselves a few days worth of "free hits". They'll probably not see Cheltenham too often, but the need to make them count is never diminished.
Tuesday's results were as follows:
Showtime Star : WON at 3/1 (adv 7/1)
Street Force : 3rd at 5/4 (adv 13/8)
Tacticus : WON at 2/1 (adv 7/2)
Le Deluge : u/p at 9/4 (adv 15/8)
Results to date:
512 winning selections from 1791 = 28.59%
161 winning bets in 464 days = 34.56%
P/L : +118.84pts (+12.81% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Mullins/Walsh Cheltenham Festival continues today, but let's take these two races instead...
Veteran course specialist General Tufto is often the benchmark in these races and now that Royal Holiday re-opposes him on much better terms than when the General beat him by a length and a quarter last time out, I'll take Royal Holiday as my likely winner here at 7/2 BOG.
He's a 6-times course winner himself with a 5/17 record over course and distance and with the blinkers reapplied for a run off the same mark as that defeat last time around, Royal Holiday is sure to be there or thereabouts at the business end of this race, whilst there isn't much decent form on offer from his rivals, but Mick Appleby's Walk Like A Giant was a winner two starts ago, albeit over 9.5f at Wolverhampton.
Having contested his nine previous races over six different trips ranging from today's 8f up to 11f, suggests that neither of his two handlers to date are sure about the right trip for him, but he has finished second over course and distance here in the past and since the switch to the prolific Appleby yard, he has a win and two runner-up finishes from six starts with a 21 record under today's jockey Andrew Mullen.
If pushed, I'll concede that Walk Like A Giant isn't one I'd want to go in too heavily on, but at 4/1 BOG, he seems to be the best of a bad bunch looking to chase our main pick home.
Dan Skelton has a really good record in handicap contests and young jockey Bridget Andrews is quickly gaining a decent reputation and had already won seven times from 30 rides on Dan's horses. They team up again here with Masterful Act who, despite being 0/8 over hurdles, is expected to put in a decent effort today at around 5/2 BOG. He was a multiple winner on the A/W, up to and including Class 2 success and he did win a bumper at the first time of asking.
His overall career record in NH races is one win and 5 places from 10 starts, but looked an improved horse on debut for the Skelton yard when second over a similar trip to today at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. He was only beaten by 4.5 lengths, despite conceding 20lbs to the winner. He found 3m on soft ground a step too far last time out and the drop back in trip onto decent ground cold be the key to a debut hurdles win today for Masterful Act.
The one likeliest to block his path should be the lightly raced 5yr old Superior Fire from the in-form Charlie Longsdon yard. he was third over this trip at Ludlow two starts ago on what was only his fourth ever race (2nd over hurdles) under rules and coped well enough to get within three lengths of the winner after being prominent throughout.
The tactics appeared wrong last time out, though, when he was held up for a run at Wetherby on Boxing Day, as the ground proved too sticky for him to make much late headway and he had to settle for sixth place, 18 lengths off the pace. Better ground in a weaker-looking race is sure to help him and if kept handier this time around, Superior Fire could well be a winner at around 100/30 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Royal Holiday / Masterful Act @ 14.75/1 (7/2 & 5/2 : Betfair, Paddy Power & Hills)
Royal Holiday / Superior Fire @ 18.50/1 (7/2 & 10/3 : SkyBet)
Walk Like A Giant / Masterful Act @ 17/1 (4/1 & 13/5 : BetBright)
Walk Like A Giant / Superior Fire @ 20.67/1 (4/1 & 10/3 : SkyBet)