Double Dutch, 17th July 2014
No joy on an incident packed day yesterday, I'm afraid.
Firstly, a 10lb pull in the weights wasn't enough to get Phase Shift ahead of Tender Surprise and even a late burst towards the line wasn't enough to enable Yasir to snatch the race either. Two creditable finished (2nd & 3rd), but no winner, meant the double was gone, before we got to race 2 at Worcester.
Cresswell Prince did win, as I expected him to, but the manner of the result wasn't quite what I predicted. Unfortunately Casey Ryback stumbled 6f from home when in contention and took another runner out, leaving just 3 to contest the closing stages. Cresswell Prince had the race pretty much in the bag, despite idling on the run in and then suddenly veered violently left towards the paddock.
Thankfully, jockey Sean Bowen had his wits about him and just about got his horse straight again and worked him home to win by four lengths, but finishing way across the track from the paddock. A tough ride for Sean.
Wednesday's results were as follows:
Yasir: 2nd at 11/8 (adv 11/4)
Phase Shift: 3rd at 2/1 (adv 7/4)
Cresswell Prince: won at 5/4 (adv 6/4)
Casey Ryback: fell at 7/4 (adv 7/4)
Results to date:
292 winning selections from 1027 = 28.43%
97 winning bets in 268 days = 36.19%
P/L : +75.28pts (+13.99% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Here's how I intend to play Thursday's meetings...
Two winners and two placers from seven runners in the last few days suggests that Eve Johnson Houghton's horses are belatedly coming into some form. She runs British Embassy here, who showed more promise in finishing second on his handicap debut at Pontefract nine days ago than he had in three previous maidens combined. He seemed to relish the step up to 6f that day and the way he finished would suggest that today's extra furlong will be even more to his liking.
That Pontefract outing was a much tougher (C4) race than today's Class 5 race and the winner from that race was only narrowly defeated in another Class 4 event yesterday at Catterick. Provided the extra furlong is to his liking, you'd have to think British Embassy stands a decent chance at 2/1 BOG.
Cafe Cortado may well have won last time out, but that was a poor seller at Yarmouth and my preference here is for Groor. On the face of it, a record of 770 is uninspiring, but trainer James Tate's horses are in good nick and the booking of Ryan Moore to ride in interestingly positive. Ryan has a good record both at this track and on board the Tate horses, not that he sees many of them! Ryan is 5/11 (2/2 this year) on the Tate string with a perfect 5/5 record in handicaps (2/2 this year) and rides a horse that ran well on his second outing to suggest he'll win races.
He might well have finished 7th of 14 at Sandown, but was beaten by less than 4 lengths, despite being blocked off on the rail late on. He was a length behind Diaz that day, who has since stepped up to Class 4, where he has won one of two races (2nd in the other). Groor's connections think he has something about him, enough to run him in the Chesham at Royal Ascot four weeks ago and although well beaten (no disgrace in that!) looks a cut above most of these here and could well be the winner at 9/4 BOG.
Dalgig very nearly pulled off a pillar to post victory here over course and distance a week ago, but was collared really late on by the progressive and aptly named Last Minute Lisa who was in the process of landing her third win in four outings. She runs in the 6.10 race here tonight, so that could be of interest. Dalgig runs off the mark tonight, so will be at least be competitive and if allowed an early lead and the chance to dominate once again, that tactic could well work for him second time around at 11/4 BOG.
Dalgig might well still be a maiden after eight attempts and normally you'd become wary of backing him by now, but his recent form is actually his best. He returned in June after an absence of almost 9 months (in which he was gelded) to run third at Lingfield. He was then third again at the same track before running second here last week, with the margins of defeat getting smaller and smaller each time. Jamie Osborne's horses have been amongst the winners of late (7/33 in the last month) and 5lb claimer Cam Hardie is no mug and is riding well.
The danger would appear to be Stockhill Diva, who will hope to inflict another late defeat on Dalgig, running on late from a held up position. She's 61313 since being stepped up to today's trip with both wins coming from her two efforts on good ground, so trip and conditions are ideal for her. She probably should have won last out at Windsor, but looked to be worried out of it coming between horses late on, going down by just half a length. If I Were A Boy was just a neck ahead of her and has since gone on to lose narrowly (SH) and then win narrowly(NSE) in her two subsequent outings at this trip.
A repeat of her recent form would be enough for Stockhill Diva to take this, providing she copes with a 2lb rise in weight, which would make the 100/30 BOG available in places look quite generous.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
British Embassy / Dalgig @ 10.25/1 (2/1 & 11/4 : generally)
British Embassy / Stockhill Diva @ 12/1 (2/1 & 10/3 : Paddy Power)
Groor/ Dalgig @ 11.19/1 (9/4 & 11/4 : generally)
Groor / Stockhill Diva @ 13.08/1 (9/4 & 10/3 : Paddy Power)