Double Dutch, 21st December 2015
It's enough to make grown men cry. Baratineur went at least two and possibly three lengths clear after the last, only to get whacked on the line (Held up towards rear, headway to chase leaders approaching 3 out, every chance next, led before and jumped right at last, soon hung left under pressure, hard ridden closing stages, headed post).
Naturally we nailed the winner in leg two, but what did that matter? The damage was already done. Dabbing the corners of our eyes with a hanky we face up to another day, and the prospect of a long overdue change in fortune.
Saturday's results were as follows:
Baratineur : 2nd at 11/4 (adv 5/2)
Fatcatinthehat: 5th at 11/2 (adv 7/1)
Commeragh Trix: WON at 9/4 (adv 9/4)
Delayed Eloquence : 8th at 7/4 (adv 5/1)
Results to date:
759 winning selections from 2722 = 27.88%
237 winning bets in 705 days = 33.62%
P/L : +71.88pts (+5.10% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
A competitive handicap hurdle where I'm going with an rapid improver unknown on the heavy, and an exposed mudlark. Template is Harry Fry's up-and-comer, winner of two of his last three since dropping into handicap company. It's possible the quick ground and sharp track were against him when he was beaten at Taunton between wins, and if he goes on the deep muddy turf, he's the likeliest winner.
If he doesn't. Anabel Murphy's stable star, Dormouse, could be chief beneficiary. This lad loves mud, and his record on heavy at Lingfield is an impressive 211, including a last day win that was a tad more cosy than the margin suggests. His best form is all in Class 4, so this elevation in grade is a question mark but he's in form and is certain to handle conditions.
Handicap debutant Light Well is the clear main danger to our pair.
An hour later at the same venue, Anda De Grissay attempts to improve Anthony Honeyball's excellent seasonal tally. An easy winner two back, the was second when stepping up in trip just a week later on heavy. It's possible that the combination of a longer trip, deeper ground and a quick return cost her there. If so, the drop back in distance and a month off should see her go very close again for geegeez.co.uk's sponsored stable.
If there are any chink's in Anda's armour it may be Twenty Eight Guns who finds them. Michael Scudamore's mare enters a handicap for the first time, having run distant seconds to a pair of decent mares. Running just two weeks later under very similar conditions to her novice hurdle runs, I'm not expecting any huge improvement. But she has form in the book to make her the most credible threat to the favourite.
Seamus Mullins' Kentford Heiress is on a first past the post hat-trick and, if handling the far muddier ground, will be a threat too.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Template/ Anda De Grissay @ 9.48/1 (3/1 & 13/8 : PP)
Template/ Twenty Eight Guns @ 17.75/1 (11/4 & 4/1 : Bet Victor)
Dormouse/ Anda De Grissay @ 13.41/1 (9/2 & 13/8 : Bet Victor, PP)
Dormouse/ Twenty Eight Guns @ 26.5/1 (9/2 & 4/1 : Bet Victor)