Double Dutch, 18th January 2014
No double landed yesterday amid almost farcical situations.
I wanted Dutch Rifle as an alternative to my fancy Crowdmania in the first race, but she was withdrawn whilst I was typing, which also reduced Crowdmania's price to a borderline 5/4 BOG, but I expected her to be nailed on without DR.
Further withdrawals (including our replacement pick!) left her to run (and win!) at a 5/9 SP after Rule 4 deductions, with our advised bet running at a shade over 11/10 onto race two, where we couldn't find the winner.
Under Review finished to third and of course, the two horses ahead of him, were the ones I'd discussed as alternatives, but then overlooked!
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Crowdmania : won at 5/9 (after R4) (adv 5/4)
Spiritual Flame : WD at 6/1 (adv 5/1)
Under Review : 3rd at 5/4 (adv 3/1)
Winslow Arizona : 5th at 6/1 (adv 9/4)
Results to date:
120 winning selections from 420 = 28.57%
38 winning doubles in 113 days = 33.63%
P/L : +10.44pts (+4.66% ROI)
A couple of decent quality, small fields, heavy ground chases today:
Just five go to post for this one and I'm more than happy to leave the two double-digit odds runners alone, leaving me with a two from three situation. It's probably easier for me to discard one that it is to pick two, so I'm leaving out Rival D'Estruval. He has undoubted quality and usually goes well fresh, but at 9yrs old, he's the wrong side of his best form and failed to complete either of his runs last year.
RDE is also carrying a 7lb penalty and bears top weight here over a trip I reckon may be too sharp for him. This leaves us with my preference Benvolio who has three wins and a first fence fall from his last four outings. He's 311F over a trip just a furlong longer than this and he's two wins plus that fall from three attempts on heavy or soft ground. All of which makes him a good bet at 11/8 BOG (BetVictor & SkyBet).
Trustan Times (3/1 BOG generally) is the backup plan, If he can transfer his excellent hurdles form to the larger obstacles, he should give a very good account of himself here. He was beaten by just over a length here in a grade 2 hurdle earlier in the year off a mark of 150 and also won a grade 3 contest here in November 2012. Although he has been hurdling of late, this isn't his introduction to chasing, he already has a record of 1233: all at 2m4f to 2m6f.
I'm very keen on the chances of Sire de Grugy here, but so is half of the country, hence his almost prohibitive odds of 6/4 BOG. But he's 3 from 3 over this trip, he has won four times and been placed four times at this level and has won 7 (plus 2 runner-up finishes) from his last 10 outings. His ability to cope with the underfoot conditions won't be an issue either with 4 wins and a 2nd from six efforts over described as soft or heavy.
Somersby is a consistent and steady if not spectacular sort, who unfortunately often finds one too good for him, as should be the case here. He has a decent record here at Ascot (32214) and has run well in the mud (2 wins and 2 places from 5 on Soft/Heavy). He has two wins and two places from his four efforts at this trip (overall 6/18 at 2m1.5f or shorter) and performs best in these smaller fields. I don't expect him to win, but if SDG doesn't, then he might well do the business for us here at a generally available 7/2 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Benvolio / Sire de Grugy @ 4.94/1 (BetVictor 11/8 & 6/4)
Benvolio / Somersby @ 10.69/1 (BetVictor 11/8 & 7/2)
Trustan Times / Sire de Grugy @ 9/1 (BetVictor 3/1 & 6/4 )
Trustan Times / Somersby @ 17/1 (generally 3/1 & 7/2)