Double Dutch, 20th September 2013
Our plans for back to back successes was scuppered by an unlikely 12/1 winner in race 1. In fairness, Red Stargazer won quite comfortably in the end, overtaking our selections with a furlong to go and scoring by the best part of four lengths.
This rendered race 2 largely irrelevant for the purpose of this piece, but I'd a vested interest in it, as I felt the 4/1 BOG offered about Autun was too big to miss and he won by a length at an SP of 5/2 with my other pick Jazz Master back in second place, with the Exacta paying out at £9.60.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Kommander Kirkup : 2nd
Ribbleton : 3rd
Autun : won at 4/1 (SP 5/2)
Jazz Master : 2nd
Trial to date:
13 winning selections from 55 = 23.64%
2 winning doubles in 15 days
P/L : -17.34pts (-59.79% ROI)
At the halfway point of this trial, a loss of almost 60% of our stakes isn't good news at all, but we're hoping to start making inroads into that deficit today, starting with the...
In a race looking a little bereft of quality, this looks like a rematch of a 2m Novice Hurdle at Galway from the end of March. Shamar was 2nd that day, just a neck behind the 7/1 winner Que Pasa and three parts of a length ahead of the strongly finishing third placed horse Diplomat, who is likely to start as favourite today.
However, my first choice of the two would be the 15/8 shot Shamar for the Mullins/Walsh combination, who took this race two years ago. He was three-quarters of a length ahead of Diplomat when they met just over seven weeks ago and he is 2lbs better off with that rival today. Ruby Walsh has a 25% strike rate at this track and although Shamar got turned over at 2/7 last time out, he didn't run that badly and I expect he'll step up today, unless...
...Diplomat finds some improvement from that defeat at Galway. There were some excuses that day, as he had already run (and won!) over the same Galway course and distance just 24 hours earlier and will no doubt be fresher today after a 52-day break from action and the fact that he's 2 from 4 on heavy ground suggests he'll relish the softness underfoot here. The bookies seem to think he'll take this, as he's currently trading at around the 6/4 mark.
This also looks like a two-horse race between Horsted Keynes & Invisible Hunter, with me slightly favouring the latter.
Horsted Keynes cost 145,000 guineas as a yearling and is a half-brother to some useful European runners. He was only beaten by a nose on his debut (over this C&D last October and then followed that up by landing a Kempton maiden a fortnight later. He hasn't been seen on a track since then, but his yard is in good form and has proven ability on this surface.
The market tends to be correct with this type of runner and he's an interesting handicap debutant at a price of around 11/4 this evening. The long lay-off (310 days) is my only concern about this one and the main reason why I have a marginal preference for...
...Invisible Hunter at 3/1, who almost took advantage of a slipping handicap mark last time out. He was beaten by a neck over 7f at Kempton just six days ago, when running off the same mark as today's 82 and brings the best current form to the table for this race.
He was only narrowly edged out last week in a strong finish and the booking of Kieran Fallon might just be what's needed to get that extra yard from him tonight.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Diplomat / Horsted Keynes @ 7.31 with BoyleSports
Shamar / Horsted Keynes @ 9.36 with BoyleSports
Diplomat / Invisible Hunter @ 10.00 with Paddy Power, Stan James & Coral
Shamar / Invisible Hunter @ 11.91 with Stan James