Double Dutch, 24th October 2014
As expected/predicted there wasn't a great deal between Buywise and Area Fifty One yesterday and they did indeed finish 1 & 2 producing a modest £3.31 forecast. They were both advised at 13/8, but the winner was backed in to 10/11 with the runner-up pushed out to 9/4. I suppose the ideal result would have been the other way round, but with the third horse a further 9 lengths back, it meant we'd called it spot on.
This augured well for race 2 at the same venue an hour or so later, where Kings Apollo finished just over 3 lengths ahead of Bob Will, but was unable to rein in the winner himself, going down to a one length defeat despite making up ground with every stride from the last fence where he was around 4 lengths adrift. It's not the longest run in at Ludlow and had Kings Apollo been a little closer approaching the last, it might have been a different story.
The end result was a winner, two runners-up and a third from our four selections: not quite close/good enough for a cigar.
Thursday's results were as follows:
Buywise: won at 10/11 (adv 13/8)
Area Fifty One: 2nd at 9/4 (adv 13/8)
Kings Apollo: 2nd at 15/8 (adv 15/8)
Bob Will: 3rd at 15/8 (adv 7/4)
Results to date:
382 winning selections from 1348 = 28.34%
122 winning bets in 351 days = 34.76%
P/L : +39.96pts (+5.70% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
In a bid to halt the run of 1-2 near misses, here's how I'm playing on Friday...
Peter Chapple-Hyam's horses are having a good spell at the moment with a strike rate approaching 21.5% over the last month (6/28) and this seems a good opportunity for Vegas Rebel to finally make a handicap debut. Despite coming here in consistent form, he looks lightly treated off an opening mark of 77 on the back of 8 runs in maiden company finishing 62224421 with his two worst runs coming from his two A/W starts.
He finally got to run on soft ground for the first time at Brighton last time out and quickened away nicely in the final 300 yards to score by the best part of 4 lengths going away. It'l bee soft again here today and he should be fine with the drop back to 6f. Interesting/positive jockey booking with Luke Morris on board for the first time and Luke's experience/ability could be the decisive factor here between a winning start in handicaps at 3/1BOG or not!
He won't, however, have it as easy as it was at Brighton, as he's up against a Hannon/Hughes 2 yr old and we know what happens there. This combo won the race last year and will hope to do the same with 5/2 BOG shot St Brelades Bay who returns after a 15-week break. He won his maiden at the third attempt and then ran very creditably on his handicap bow at Ascot last time out. He was fourth of eight runners that day and beaten by 3.75 lengths, but not disgraced.
To put that race into context, he was 2.25 lengths behind Squats, who in four subsequent races has won two Class 2 events, finished withing a neck of the winner in a Listed race and was 1.75 lengths shy in a Group 3 race last Friday. Bronze Maquette was a further half length ahead of St Brelades Bay at Ascot and has since won at Listed level and has also competed in a Group 2 race at Doncaster. If the form holds out from Ascot, then St Brelades Bay is a serious contender here.
Jockey Richard Johnson is 24 from 66 (36.4% SR) here at Fakenham since 2008 and 14/28 over fences and he'll be expecting to improve upon that record aboard the very versatile Teak, who seems to give his running no matter what code he goes at. He won three of his last six starts on the level, he's 2 from 2 over hurdles this year and today is his second effort over fences, having been beaten by just a length on debut at Worcester a couple of months ago. He was hampered by a loose horse late on, which could possibly have been the difference between him winning and losing, but we'll never know.
He'll get the 3m 0.5f trip for sure, having already won at similar (and longer) distances in the past. He's 2 from 2 with Richard Johnson on his back, goes well on decent ground and now seeks to land his 6th win from 190 starts in 2014 and Teak is priced at 2/1 BOG to achieve the remarkable feast of becoming a triple code winner inside 40 days.
The big threat comes in the shape of Wiesentraum, a proven chaser with a 4/13 (no falls) record over fences. he had a break after the April Aintree meeting and has come back in decent nick, finishing 4th at Southwell in August 134 days after his Liverpool,outing and he has since finished 2nd at Newton Abbot before winning at Warwick last time out. He beat the highly regarded Carrigmorna King that day and although he's now raised 7lbs for that win, his past experience might prove vital today.
This is Wiesentraum's third crack at this course and distance, having won once and been the runner-up in his other effort. he's 3 from 5 at this trip and loves the good ground he'll get here. This could prove to be a cracking contest today and Wiesentraum can be backed at 5/2 BOG today.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
Vegas Rebel / Teak @ 11/1 (3/1 & 2/1 : Stan James)
Vegas Rebel / Wiesentraum @ 13/1 (3/1 & 5/2 : Stan James)
St Brelades Bay / Teak @ 9.50/1 (5/2 & 2/1 : Paddy Power)
St Brelades Bay / Wiesentraum @ 11.25/1 (5/2 & 5/2 : Paddy Power)