Double Dutch, 16th January 2014
Successes at 4/1 and & 7/4 got us back to winning ways with a 12.75/1 double after a couple of frustrating days of hard luck and near misses.
Edmund was tracking the leaders and going well enough before coming to grief at the 7th, where Decent Lord took the lead and never really looked like relinquishing it from that point. He went clear with 3 fences still to jump and he eased home by a good dozen lengths.
As expected, Alutiq had too much class for her rivals in our second contest and despite being held up and giving the leader a good five lengths start with less than two furlongs to go, she still flew home to win by half a length and book her place for Finals Day. Ticking Katie started well enough, but weakened disappointingly in the latter stages and finished last of the six runners.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Decent Lord : won at 4/1 (adv 7/2)
Edmund : faller at 7/4 (adv 7/4)
Alutiq : won at 5/4 (adv 7/4)
Ticking Katie : 6th of 6 at 11/4 (adv 11/4)
Results to date:
119 winning selections from 413 = 28.81%
38 winning doubles in 111 days = 34.23%
P/L : +14.44pts (+6.56% ROI)
We look to build on yesterday's excellent result with these from Thursday's card:
The obvious starting point here is Joanne One who seeks a hat-trick over hurdles and also looks to register her fifth win in six starts. This makes her probably the one the others will have to beat if they want to land this one. She looks reasonably treated off 120 for her handicap debut and there's also the AP factor to consider. The booking of the champ to ride her for the first time is a significant sign to me and the current 13/8 BOG at Coral may well descend quickly towards being very short come race time.
Of the others, I find Astigos very interesting and possibly overpriced. He made his UK debut on New Years' Day at Cheltenham and was pulled up before completing the 3m trip he was asked to attempt. The assessor seems to have taken pity on him and dropped him 6lbs, as he comes here for a race some 3 furlongs shorter than last time.
I think a lack of knowledge about this horse must be the main reason for him being available as long as 4/1 BOG (Boylesports & PP), because that does seem rather generous about a horse twice placed in Listed handicaps in France over 2m4f on heavy ground at a higher weight than the featherweight he carries today.
The ground is due to play some part in this one and as such, you've got to like Lord of House here. He's 11612 on heavy ground, which is by far the best on show here and he was only narrowly defeated over this trip in similar conditions on New Year's Eve. He was giving the useful-looking winner, Tresor de Bontee, a stone that day and although he's top weight here, I don't think any of these rivals are as good as that winner.
Two miles in the mud suits him, he's 34112 at this trip and 112 over 2m on heavy. Lots of numbers, I know, but Lord of House is hard to ignore at an attractive-looking 3/1 BOG (generally available)
Of his five rivals, I'd suggest that the unexposed Rio de Sivola makes most appeal at 9/4 BOG (Betfred & Coral). This is only his fifth start to date and he finished third in both his hurdles effort (both on heavy ground), before making a winning start to his chase career at Warwick back in November. His latest run was a runner-up position at Ascot on Soft ground.
He's already shown plenty of potential and any natural progression would make him a real danger, lurking at the bottom of the weights. We should also remember that his trainer is a dab hand with horses on heavy ground.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Joanne One / Rio de Sivola @ 7.53/1 (Coral 13/8 & 9/4)
Joanne One / Lord of House @ 9.50/1 (Coral 13/8 & 3/1)
Astigos / Rio de Sivola @ 14/1 (Boylesports, PP 4/1 & 2/1 )
Astigos / Lord of House @ 17.75/1 (Boylesports, PP 4/1 & 11/4 )