Double Dutch, 1st March 2014
Yesterday started well enough and both our selections for the first race attracted some market support. Minella Reception was backed in from 3/1 to be a 2/1 jt fav at the off, but a combination of tiring legs and a mistake at the last meant a third place finish, 6.5 lengths behind the winner.
Thankfully we were also on that winner Whispering Harry, the other 2/1 jt fav (in from our advised 9/4), who made full use of the weight he was receiving to must hold on to score by half a length.
And that's where the good news ends! As, unfortunately the Law of Sod reared its ugly head once again. I liked Huzzah to win, especially at 9/4 BOG and it seemed others did too and he went off at 7/4, before trailing home 6th of 9 runners, almost 19 lengths off the pace and 17 lengths behind my secondary choice Fair Breeze.
Fair Breeze ran well, as I thought he might and I'd gone with him because this is what I thought..."Of his rivals, Grandiloquent looks interesting on paper racing off a mark some 27lbs lower than when he last won, but that was 17 races and almost two years ago and combine that with his 0/4 (7646) record here at Wolverhampton, you'd have to leave him alone."
Grandiloquent, of course, went on to win at 8/1!
That would have been a nice 28.25/1 double, but c'est la vie!
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Whispering Harry: won at 2/1 (adv 9/4)
Minella Reception: 3rd at 2/1 (adv 3/1)
Fair Breeze: 3rd at 5/1 (adv 7/2)
Huzzah: u/p at 7/4 (adv 9/4)
Results to date:
165 winning selections from 586 = 28.16%
55 winning bets in 155 days = 35.48%
P/L : +41.63pts (+13.60% ROI)
Saturday is as competitive as ever, but I feel we've a fighting chance with these:
It's hard to look beyond Tiqris as a starting point for this one and at a best-priced 15/8 BOG (BetFred), the market would seem to agree. Placed in every race to date (2323312) and running in Listed company of late, this looks an easier task for him in a poor-looking contest. Our excellent interactive racecards tell me that he's happy at this level or higher and acts well on heavy ground. He has run five times at this trip and has previous course knowledge. My only qualm is that he'd be a little short at those odds if I was backing singles today. Thankfully I'm not!
You could make a case for most of his rivals to finish second to him here but I like the look of Jumps Road for his consistency in the past. He acts really well on heavy ground and has won each of his last three contests at this level. He was placed in two decent grade 2 events (Haydock & Cheltenham) recently and although he didn't perform LTO here, that was a much tougher race and he's now 4lbs better off. He's a viable alternative at 13/2 BOG with Stan James.
Drop Out Joe is highly regarded by Charlie Longsdon and his team and he ran really well in defeat last time out. That was a Pertemps Qualifier and he was only beaten by five lengths into third place at big odds (20/1). He won both his first two efforts over hurdles and was a very creditable second over course and distance off today's mark in his penultimate run. He was caught on the line that day, so wouldn't need much improvement to land this at 2/1 BOG.
I am, however, going to take him on with the interesting-looking Hartforth who comes here in great form and seeks a hat-trick after an excellent winter where he has finished 12211 in five starts. Don't get me wrong, he has been hammered by the assessor: his mark has risen by 32lbs ion the proces and he's up 13lbs from LTO, but the easing of the ground will certainly help negate some of that excess.
It was virtually bottomless at Catterick four weeks ago when he eased himself into a 23-length victory and today's good ground should take far less out of him. He has won on good ground as recently as October, the start of this 5-race run and possibly the last time we saw good ground! And I know it's not an exact scince, but if the ground is easier to run on, a horse could possibly be able to cope with extra weight. It's all conjecture for sure, but with his form, a 5/1 BOG price in a 6-runner race has to be good value, surely?
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Tiqris / Drop Out Joe @ 7.25/1 (7/4 & 2/1 : BetVictor, Bet365 & PP)
Tiqris / Hartforth @ 15.50/1 (7/4 & 5/1 : generally)
Jumps Road / Drop Out Joe @ 21.50/1 (13/2 & 2/1 : Stan James)
Jumps Road / Hartforth @ 44/1 (13/2 & 5/1 : Stan James)
PS No Double Dutch tomorrow, I'll be back on Monday!