Double Dutch, 14th October 2014
Damp, dreary and dismal. The best way of describing yesterday, I'm afraid.
Those of you who thought I was foolish to get involved in a 15-runner handicap on heavy ground were, of course, proven correct. I didn't think there'd be much between Polski Max and Lady Brigid and that it would be the former's race to lose.
I was right, of a fashion, as only a head separated them, but Polski Max did indeed lose, finishing 6th and beaten by 4 lengths.
Things were only marginally better later at Sedgefield, where 7 set off, 5 finished and my pick Billy Two Tongues was the last home of the finishers, 18 lengths behind my alternate selection Supapowers, who herself was the runner-up, beaten by a good 16 lengths.
I've had better days!
Monday's results were as follows:
Polski Max: u/p at 11/4 (adv 3/1)
Lady Brigid: u/p at 12/1 (adv 9/1)
Supapowers: 2nd at 5/2 (adv 2/1)
Billy Two Tongues: u/p at 2/1 (adv 11/4)
Results to date:
372 winning selections from 1317 = 28.25%
120 winning bets in 343 days = 34.99%
P/L : +50.56pts (+7.38% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
More heavy ground and poor weather to contend with, but I'd expect a better show today from these selections...
Where the withdrawal of 4-timer seeking Cusheen Bridge opens the door for a couple of others to score. The two I like most from this race are Mercoeur and Curragh Hall.
Curragh Hall was a winner at Ludlow 6 days ago on his fourth start since a switch to the UK and the Skelton team and with the yard in decent formm of late, can defy a penalty to go in again at 4/1 BOG. Despite 8th place finishes being the best he could muster in six starts in Ireland, he has progressed nicely in each of his 4 runs on this side of the water and the first time blinkers/tongue tie combination worked well last time out and is reapplied here today.
It 's a little softer than the good to soft he encountered at Ludlow last week, but didn't seem to mind the cut in the ground and in a wek-looking race, his penalty shouldn't be too onerous, especially as he looked to have plenty in hand in that 4 length victory and he's still towards the bottom of the weights here, just ahead of...
...Mercoeur who is interesting here, having changed hands for 35,000 Euros less than 3 weeks ago after just four races in france, where he did at least get used to running on soft ground. He was caught late on and beaten by a neck on his UK debut at Fontwell 11 days ago, but the drop in trip, the softer ground and the hope he will come on for that run make him of note here at 5/2 BOG.
His trainer and his jockey are both having good years and his yard are particularly adept at getting results from new recruits and with Mercoeur still only being a 3yr old in an open age handicap, he gets a 17lb weight for age allowance here, which should make him very competitive indeed.
Atab's breeding suggests she should be a useful sort and he's expected to build upon the potential hinted at in a decent run on debut at Salisbury almost six weeks ago. She took a little while to get going, but was staying on at the finish and made some headway in the closing stages of that 7f contest.
Atab was only beaten by a little over two lengths that day and a step up in trip to a mile should probably suit that style better. She seems to be popular with the punters this morning, having been installed as the 15/8 BOG favourite, but I have a slight leaning/preference towards...
...Arcano Gold as my main selection here. Outpaced and subsequently beaten by 10 lengths in two maidens on unsuitable good to firm ground in his first two starts didn't demoralise him, but did give him vital racing experience. The going was good to soft on his third (and most recent) outing, where he only went down by a length and three quarters in finsihing third of twelve at Newcastle four weeks ago.
Both the winner and the runner-up were winners next time out with his stablemate Darrington (4th that day) going on to finish 3rd and then 1st in his next two starts. So, if that form holds up, and it looks reasonable to assume it will, then Arcano Gold can complete as set of wins from the Newcastle first four and the current 5/2 BOG looks decent value to me.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
Mercoeur / Atab @ 9.06/1 (5/2 & 15/8 : BetVictor)
Mercoeur / Arcano Gold @ 11.25/1 (5/2 & 5/2 : generally)
Curragh Hall / Atab @ 13.38/1 (4/1 & 15/8 : Hills)
Curragh Hall / Arcano Gold @ 16.5/1 (4/1 & 5/2 : Hills)