Double Dutch, 15th January 2014
It was one of those "close, but no cigar days" yesterday, I'm sorry to say. I found three placers, but no winners from the four horses selected and perhaps what happened in the first race was a portence of later events.
I came very, very close to selecting Noble Citizen ahead of Aqua Ardens as my backup to Tatting and as the Law of Sod would have it, that's the exact order they came home. Aqua Ardens ran really well and stayed on strongly under a drive from the talented Louis Steward, only to just fail by a neck. The trifecta (which I didn't back, "only" paid out at 221/1!) .
Never mind, Hannah's Turn (backed from 3/1 to a more realistic 7/4) was a sure thing, wasn't she? All she needed to do was to be set straight and run. Well, that's not what happened. I've seen the race a few times now and each time I see it, I still expect her to win, she looks like she's going to win, but doesn't ever get her head in front.
I wasn't convinced that Shelley Birkett got the full benefit out of the horse yesterday, but the record books will just show that we lost by a head. I should also state that I'm not blaming the jockey here either.
So, there you have it: a losing day where a neck and a head deprived us of a 23/1 double, but when you consider how close we came and the fact that the SP double would only have been 15/1, I'm still happy with the selections after the fact.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Aqua Ardens : 2nd at 5/1 (adv 9/2)
Tatting : 3rd at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
Hannah's Turn : 2nd at 7/4 (adv 3/1)
Monsieur Jamie : 7th at 9/2 (adv 4/1)
Results to date:
117 winning selections from 409 = 28.61%
37 winning doubles in 110 days = 33.64%
P/L : +9.56pts (+4.39% ROI)
But, as the profit drops into single digits and the strike rate for the double dips back towards my benchmark of 1 in 3, we could do with some winners from these:
Decent Lord is trained by Jennie Candlish whose horses tend to go well in the mud and this one has two wins and a place on heavy ground. He was a course and distance winner on heavy ground on his only previous run at this track and competes here off a mark 2lbs lower than his last winning mark, which should make him competitive at odds of 7/2 BOG (Betfred), but...
...I fear that the 7/4 BOG (Coral)favourite Edmund will have too much for him here today. He's unexposed at this code of racing, having had only starts over the larger obstacles. He comes here on the back of a comfortable 4.5 length win ahead of the reopposing Mumgos Debut over this course and distance almost four weeks ago and the way he stayed on with seemingly plenty to spare suggests an 8lb rise won't stop him repeating the feat.
After just a cursory look at the recent form lines, you'd think there were several in with a chance for this one (plenty of 1's, 2's and 3's on show), but I see it developing into a match between Alutiq and Ticking Katie.
Alutiq is the only previous course winner in this field of six and her run to finish 5th (Beaten by less than 2.5 lengths) in the Lowther is by far the best piece of form here. Although she was last home of 7 in the Cheveley Park Stakes at 50/1, she wasn't disgraced by a 6 lengths defeat and it shows how highly she's regarded by her trainer. This is a distinct drop in quality here and she really should be giving away chunks of weight, but gets to run off very favourable conditions here and looks very much overpriced at 7/4 BOG (Betfred)
Ticking Katie is the likeliest to throw down a challenge. Finishes of 212223 show her consistency and after three near misses in 7f handicaps at this grade (beaten late on each time) looks more suited to a drop back in trip here. Currently available at 11/4 BOG (Totesport), she could go close again today
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Edmund / Alutiq @ 6.56/1 (Coral 7/4 & 7/4)
Edmund / Ticking Katie @ 8.84/1 (Totesport 13/8 & 11/4)
Decent Lord / Alutiq @ 11.38/1 (Totesport 7/2 & 7/4)
Decent Lord / Ticking Katie @ 14.75/1 (Betfred 7/2 & 5/2)