Double Dutch, 17th February 2015
Monday was a great start to the week, especially after my complaining about the poor fayre on offer! In our opener, I didn't think there'd be much between our runners and so it proved, as Three Faces West led Gone Forever home by 2.25 lengths.
Other than the O'Neill/McCoy combo a further 2.25L back in third, the rest of the field were well beaten and the race gave us the added bonus of a useful, if not life-changing, 9/2 exacta.
That also gave us a 15/8 BOG winner going towards race 2, where once again I thought we had the winner and that there wouldn't be much to choose between our runners and so it proved once again.
After a tussle in the final furlong, Walk Like A Giant beat Pearl Ransom by a length, which was great news for us, as the winner was longer priced than the runner and helped the exacta rise to a £9.10 return to a £1 stake.
The upshot of it all was/is: 2 races, 4 runners, 2 winners, 2 runners-up and a double at 9.78/1. I know the braver of you also play the exactas and Monday's paid £5.50 and £9.10 respectively to £1 stakes, whilst the very brave/foolhardy will have collected an Exacta double at 49/1: I certainly wasn't on it!
Monday's results were as follows:
Three Faces West : WON at 15/8 (adv 13/8)
Gone Forever : 2nd at 7/4 (adv 15/8)
The exacta paid out at 9/2
Walk Like A Giant : WON at 11/4 (adv 11/4)
Pearl Ransom : 2nd at 7/4 (adv 9/4)
The exacta paid out at 8.1/1
Results to date:
491 winning selections from 1718 = 28.58%
153 winning bets in 445 days = 34.38%
P/L : +99.13pts (+11.14% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
We're back on the cusp of the so-far elusive 100pt barrier and I hope to break it today, via the...
The Pipe/Scudamore partnership continues to churn out winners and in Dell'Arca, they'll expect to be picking up another pot today. He has spent his entire career racing at a higher level than this, running with great credit, but not winning often enough. A quick look at this form line might deter people, but you have to consider the quality of horses he has raced against.
He dropped down to this grade at Cheltenham last time out and was only beaten by an in-form Lightentertainment by half a length on the run-in. The latter was completing his 5th win in 6 runs that day, but at 2/1 BOG here, Dell'Arca looks the one to beat at 2/1 BOG if repeating that effort or showing some of his Class 1 form.
As my second pick, I'm going to go with Fox Norton, who looks quite long at 15/2 BOG with a couple of firms. He was one of the better novice hurdlers around last season, having started with a narrow (neck) defeat on debut at Market Rasen in a Class 2 hurdle before going to Doncaster to win a grade 2 event.
It's less than 10 months since he finished third in a Grade 1 at Punchestown off today's mark of 140 and he was only 1.5 lengths behind the runner-up, Plinth, that day and the latter has gone on to win four times since. A similar run today could put Fox Norton right in the mix.
This looks an awful race, if truth be told, but the one piece of decent recent form belongs to Ocean Legend who won a Class 5 handicap at Kempton last time out. It has to be said that his best form comes at that track, but dropping down to this grade, he has to be the one to beat. Looking back at his past races, I was surprised to see that he has been first home in 4 of his last 7 races and that he has made the frame 10 times in his last 14 outings.
He might well be getting on a bit at 10 yrs old and he will have to show more of an aptitude for the surface than he did on his only previous run on the tapeta, but at 5/2 BOG, Ocean Legend is the one to take from this.
You can them make cases for and against the rest of the field as possible backup selections, but I've narrowed it down to Hamoody and Bond Fastrac (probably tempting fate by naming both!), as they both have some ability and both look reasonably treated at the weights, but the fact that Bond Fastrac is 0/13 on the A/W, whilst Hamoody is 6/25 away from the turf and his jockey takes what could be a very valuable 7lbs off, makes Hamoody my tentative secondary pick at 13/2 BOG with Skybet.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Dell'Arca / Ocean Legend @ 9.50/1 (2/1 & 5/2 : Stan James)
Dell'Arca / Hamoody @ 19.63/1 (7/4 & 13/2 : Skybet)
Fox Norton / Ocean Legend @ 28.75/1 (15/2 & 5/2 : BetVictor & Hills)
Fox Norton / Hamoody @ 58.50/1 (15/2 & 6/1 : Hills)