Double Dutch, 19th December 2015
Another first leg win with nothing to go alongside it. As Peter Cook once said in the one-legged Tarzan sketch, "I've got nothing against your right leg. Unfortunately, neither have you".
Current form is no laughing matter and we need to steady the ship sooner rather than later. We'll attempt that on a typically competitive, if slightly suppressed, pre-Christmas Saturday.
Friday's results were as follows:
Barista : WON at 11/4 (adv 3/1)
Georgishore : 2nd at 6/4 (adv 2/1)
Hamis Al Bin: 3rd at 6/4 (adv 10/3)
Frank The Barber : 4th at 3/1 (adv 10/3)
Results to date:
758 winning selections from 2718 = 27.89%
237 winning bets in 704 days = 33.66%
P/L : +73.88pts (+5.25% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
An early start in a competitive race, which means two things: 1. we'll get a price about our fancies, and 2. there's a good chance of an early bath.
That said, I really like Dan Skelton's Baratineur, and have heard it's very well fancied by the yard. That in itself isn't enough to make the page, but he has a compelling form profile as well. Winner of two deep ground bumpers in the French provinces, he's had a couple of novice hurdle starts to acquire today's opening handicap rating.
The drop back in trip looks about right so, with Skelton in very good form, he has a heck of a lot going for him.
A number of interesting horses in opposition, most notably Henry Oliver's After Hours and Harry Whittington's Fatcatinthehat. Formerly trained by Emma Baker, Whittington is a better trainer than most, so improvement can be expected on this first run for the yard.
He shoulders top weight in heavy ground here, which will not be easy, but he own a maiden hurdle for Willie Mullins just four starts back and is more than a stone lower in the weights than when running midfield in the 2013 Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival. That was just three runs ago so he's had a problem - but he comes here on a fresh page and with bundles of back class.
The second leg is a mares' only bumper in Ireland, where the favourite looks to have a very solid claim. Commeragh Trix was second against the boys on her only start to date, and she probably should have won. She was closing fast but went down a neck at the line. She gets the excellent assistance of Nina Carberry this time and a prominent display is almost assured.
Of the newcomers, the one to catch the eye is Aidan O'Brien's Delayed Eloquence. O'Brien obviously knows where he is with flat horses, and he's 24 from 76 since 2004 with bumper runners.
By Beneficial out of a Presenting mare, this lass is bred for stamina so, though two miles would be sharp enough most likely, the heavy ground could bring that staying power into play. She's a price to play at and she's being nibbled as I write.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Baratineur/ Commeragh Trix @ 10.38/1 (5/2 & 9/4 : bet365, betfair sports)
Baratineur/ Delayed Eloquence @ 18.25/1 (5/2 & 9/2 : PP)
Fatcatinthehat/ Commeragh Trix @ 25/1 (7/1 & 9/4 : bet365, Coral, Betfred, Skybet & Totesport)
Fatcatinthehat/ Delayed Eloquence @ 44/1 (13/2 & 5/1 : Betvictor)