Double Dutch, 22nd December 2014
Another good Saturday from team DD, as Matt stepped in to provide us with another nice 19.63/1 double, thanks to a nice drift on the classy Reve De Sivola, who was sent off at an amazingly long 13/2 in his bid to land a third successive win in the Long Walk, which he managed to do by beating the odds on favourite by a head in a gutsy battling finish.
This result added to The Pirate's Queen's success earlier at Haydock made for a very good day indeed. And the fact that Matt had also nominated the runner-up at Haydock made for a small, but welcome 2.13/1 forecast for those playing that way.
Saturday's results were as follows:
The Pirate's Queen: won at 11/8 (adv 7/4)
Bitofapuzzle: 2nd at 10/11 (adv 11/8)
Reve De Sivola: won at 13/2 (adv 9/2)
Medinas: 4th at 9/2 (adv 6/1)
Results to date:
443 winning selections from 1538 = 28.75%
141 winning bets in 399 days = 35.18%
P/L : +97.92pts (+12.25% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Last ones before Christmas and you know the drill. It's Monday, quality is sparse, so we're not looking a races like Saturdays were! Nevertheless, all today's races will still have a winner. And if we can grab a couple for ourselves, we'll break the 100pt profit barrier on our 400th day of selections...
Jupiter Rex hasn't got back to 2013's form just yet in two substandard runs recently off the back of a long (592-day) absence. Prior to that, he had proved what an excellent performer he was, rattling off seven consecutive (4 hurdles, 3 chases) handicap victories on the bounce and this looks a weaker contest than his two latest efforts, representing an excellent opportunity to get back on the scoresheet.
He'll relish the conditions here and jumps well normally, he has 6 wins from 10 on ground described as Soft or worse, he's 7 from 8 at 3 miles and beyond, 5 from 9 at Class 4 and prefers the small fields, winning four of his fiver races of 7 runners or less. Jupiter Rex is definitely the one to beat here at 15/8 BOG.
The one I'd take to chase him home would be 11/2 BOG shot Alanjou, who after just 7 starts (3 over fences)0 is satill a very unexposed 4 yr old learning his craft. He never won any of his four efforts over hurdles at trips of 2m to 2m 2.5f, but has won the only chase event he has completed, a 3 lengths victory at Fontwell over 2m 6f. That's the furthest he has run and I'd expect today's 3m 0.5f to suit him even better.
I think the hurdles trips were far too short for him and he'll be a stayer in due course, as he's sired by Maresca Sorrento, who has produced several decent stayers, most notably this year's Grand National winner Pineau de Re. I'm not suggesting Alanjou will get 4.5 miles at group level, but today's type of trip is where I see him plying his trade in future.
Ambella's opening handicap mark of 70 back in April has proved to be quite excessive, as she's failed to win any of her 7 handicap contests. She has looked more likely of late, though, making the frame in successive efforts on the A/W, finishing 3rd at Kempton over a mile three weeks ago and she was only beaten into 2nd place here at Wolverhampton by a length last time out.
That was over 7 furlongs and she was running on strongly at the finish, but wasn't quite able to catch the winner, who has since stepped up in class with a 3lb weight rise to finish a 1-length runner-up at Southwell off a mark of 68. The return to a mile today allied to a mark off 55 could be the key to a 5/2 BOG debut win for Ambella.
The 3 yr old filly Sarlat is also no stranger to these parts, having competed here on 11 occasions in the last thirteen months. She has won twice here and has also been the runner-up on two occasions. This will be only her third attempt at this trip, though and she comes here off the back of a course and distance win last time out (10 days ago), which was her second win in four starts.
She's up 5lbs for that last win and doesn't get to call on the talents of Luke Morris this time around, so this is going to be tougher for her, but Sarlat does know her way around here and comes into this race with the best recent form on the table. We're compensated for the doubts about her ability to win again her with a 5/1 BOG price tag, but in a race devoid of quality, that might prove generous.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
Jupiter Rex / Ambella @ 9.06/1 (15/8 & 5/2 : generally available)
Jupiter Rex / Sarlat @ 15.50/1 (7/4 & 5/1 : Bet365 & Hills)
Alanjou / Ambella @ 21.75/1 (11/2 & 5/2 : Betfair SB)
Alanjou / Sarlat @ 34.75/1 (11/2 & 9/2 : Betfair SB, Coral & Ladbrokes)