Double Dutch, 24th November 2014
It was nice to end last week with a winning double at 15.5/1 to make it a third successive Saturday winner. Unlike the previous two weekends, though, there was no big price drift to boost the coffers, as all four of our runners were pretty well supported.
In race 1, things went as I thought they might, with a Godolphin 1-2 where the favourite (Evs from 7/4) Four Seasons caught and passed the runner-up Super Kid (11/4 from 7/2) inside the final furlong to win by a length.
The result would have been better the other way around, of course, but you can't grumble about a 1-2 finish and as you'd expect, the exacta was pretty modest at £4.30 here.
We then had a near six hour wait until the Wolverhampton race, where the favourite (11/8 from 2/1) The fairy failed to live up to expectations and had no finish in reserve, eventually coming home fourth of six, a length and a half behind the winner.
Thankfully for us, that winner was Anastazia, who I'd suggested offered good value at 5/1 BOG and so it proved as she came home to score by three parts of a length at 7/2. She stayed on well and continued her good form with a win on her tapeta debut and she should win more races over the winter.
As I said, no earlier, no big drifters to help our cause, but the benefits of taking the BOG prices were very well highlighted with all four runners shortening over the day. 15.5/1 is a decent enough double, but it looks even better when placed in the context of SP, where our two winners would only have paid out at 8/1 and we should always be happy to get almost 194% of SP.
Saturday's results were as follows:
Four Seasons: won at evens (adv 7/4)
Super Kid: 2nd at 11/4 (adv 7/2)
The exacta paid £4.30 here.
Anastazia: won at 7/2 (adv 5/1)
The Fairy: u/p at 11/8 (adv 2/1)
Results to date:
417 winning selections from 1446 = 28.84%
133 winning bets in 376 days = 35.37%
P/L : +78.83pts (+10.49% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Monday is, as always, tricky with a small number of suitable races, all of fairly low quality. Mind you, every Monday seems to be like this, so I might as well just crack on with these...
This could/should turn out to be an interesting battle between my two picks if all goes well here. Alba Verde comes here on top form, seeking a four-timer over the last two months and she's been running really well. She's 3/7 on the A/W, 3/3 at 1m5f and beyond and has a course and distance win under her belt. Jockey Luke Morris is clocking the winners up and trainer Sir Mark Prescott has a good record here at Wolverhampton.
As the only 3yr old in this open age handicap, Alba Verde gets a very handy 9lb weight for age allowance, making her look very leniently treated, despite stepping up in class and she could very well go in again today at odds of 7/4 BOG.
The most interesting of her rivals and the one I fancy to cause her most trouble is Rutherglen. This horse is a proven multi-code winner, having won on the Flat over 10.5f and 11.5f, he's also 3 from 4 over hurdles and 1 from 1 on the A/W. So, you know he'll get this trip and he should be OK on the surface. I suppose the main thing with him, is a 255 day break from action, since his last outing.
This time last year, he was just embarking on a hurdling career after success on the flat, he won each of his first three hurdles events, then ran over 2m at Kempton on the A/W where he won again before moving on to what was his last run to date, which is the only hurdles contest he hasn't. He finished 5th of 15 on that occasion, but to put it into context, I should add that it was the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival! This is obviously, a far easier task for him and if he fires first time out, Rutherglen will be back in the winners enclosure at 2/1 BOG (Stan James).
Sky Steps has been running consistently well without winning but has solid nursery form here at Wolverhampton. He's been placed in all four runs here at this track (3232) with the last three coming in nursery events. The sum total of his four defeats here only amounts to 3.75 lengths and he only went down by half a length last time out. Running off a mark of 51 today and benefiting from a jockey's claim of 7lbs, today uld be the day he takes advantage of his knowledge of the course and distance to finally get his head in front.
Sky Steps has been given a little too much to do occasions, having to come from off the pace and it is hoped he'll be kept closer to the action today, in what looks a fairly weak contest. If he's kept handy enough, he has the ability and the recent experience to land this one at 2/1 BOG, whilst the main threat should come from Laura B, who will look to continue her progression from two nurseries in recent months.
She left some indifferent/mediocre maiden form behind when finishing 5th (only beaten by 2L) at Kempton on her nursery debut and she followed that up with a narrow defeat into third place also at Kempton last time out. She was only beaten by half a length and a neck that day after finishing strongly and with the in-form course specialist George Baker now taking the reins, he could well eke a bit more out of her, enabling Laura B to win here at 3/1 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
Alba Verde / Sky Steps @ 7.25/1 (7/4 & 2/1 : generally available)
Alba Verde / Laura B @ 10/1 (7/4 & 3/1 : Stan James)
Rutherglen / Sky Steps @ 8.15/1 (2/1 & 41/20 : Betbright)
Rutherglen / Laura B @ 11/1 (2/1 & 3/1 Stan James)