Double Dutch, 13th February 2014
No profit from yesterday's efforts, but I did at least call my runners in the right order.
Things got off to a good start when Habbie Simpson won the Hunters' Chase at Musselburgh, after Golan Way had dumped his rider at just the 2nd obstacle. Our winner had drifted out from our advised 5/2 to 3/1 at the off, giving a nice stake for the evening A/W contest at Kempton...
...where, although I was right about Light from Mars beating Brocklebank ( by a length as it happens), I hadn't foreseen three other horses beating my selection. It was a tight contest and despite only coming home fourth, our main pick was only beaten by two lengths.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Habbie Simpson: won at 5/2 (adv 9/4)
Golan Way: UR at evens (adv 5/4)
Light from Mars: 4th at 5/1 (adv 5/1)
Brocklebank: 5th at 5/2 (adv 3/1)
Results to date:
149 winning selections from 522 = 28.54%
50 winning bets in 139 days = 35.97%
P/L : +30.68pts (+11.20% ROI)
We'll be looking to at least notch our 150th winner in 140 days today on the way to hopefully kick starting the drive for the next 50 doubles!
Today's races are:
Duke of Navan took this race last year when completing a sequence of three wins in four races before taking a 41-week break from racing. Since his return at the end of November ha has run twice and on paper at least, his 6th place at Newcastle followed by finishing 4th at Kempton on Boxing Day doesn't inspire. However, closer inspection tells us that those races were both Grade 1 events over the bare two miles (Fighting Fifth & the Christmas Hurdle) and this represents a big drop in class back to C2.
Away from group/grade racing, he has won three from six, he's 2 from 3 here at Kelso plus a second on debut. The underfoot conditions will be no trouble to him either and he looks a good bet at 100/30 BOG with BetVictor.
The biggest challenge is likely to come from the mare Doyly Carte who will look to make good use of the 7lbs she receives from the main pick. She has already landed a Listed race at Cheltenham last April and has been running well at a higher level than this of late. Shje may well have been beaten by 15 lengths last time out, but in her defence I should add that she was behind the wonder-mare Annie Power in the OLBG Mares Hurdle at Doncaster that day, but ran well enough to put another 7 lengths between her and her nearest pursuer. She's one to watch out for and would be my alternate here at 5/2 BOG (Coral)
This isn't the easiest race to call with any one of the three market leaders able to take it. My preference, though, is for Renard Dirlande who currently trades at 2/1 BOG with Coral. He ran a really good race last time out, when finishing third in a very competitive contest at Cheltenham. That was a far better standard than he'll encounter today and he shaped as though he needed further that day, suggesting the extra 2 furlongs here will suit him. He has a good record on soft ground and gets to run off the same mark as last time out. He is trained by Venetia Williams and ridden by Aidan Coleman and we all know what kind of season they're having!
From Knock A Hand and Titchwood, I'm leaning towards the latter. Knock A Hand's ability isn't in question, but I still think he's more suited to hurdling than chasing and has looked out of sorts of late. Titchwood, on the other hand, is an interesting entry here. He's unexposed so far, but has won two of his six starts to date. he has just two chase contests under his belt and after finishing second at the first attempt, he ran out of steam at Ffos Las over 3m 1.5f on heavy ground last time out. The drop back by a couple of furlongs and the better (if not by much!) ground should help his cause here today.
The strange thing about him is that he's trained by Jonjo O'Neill and will be ridden by AP McCoy. I know that's not really strange, but the fact that this horse is the trainer's sole entry and also the jockey's only ride does pique the interest. Titchwood is my backup plan at a generally available 11/4 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Doyly Carte / Renard Dirlande @ 9.5/1 (5/2 & 2/1 : Coral)
Doyly Carte / Titchwood @ 12.13/1 (5/2 & 11/4 : Coral)
Duke of Navan / Renard Dirlande @ 11/1 (3/1 & 2/1 : Coral)
Duke of Navan / Titchwood @ 14/1 (3/1 & 11/4 : generally)