Double Dutch, 27th July 2015
Like the previous days before it, Saturday was another agonisingly frustrating near-miss for us. The horses are there or thereabouts, but we're not quite getting them both over line.
Sweet P was game and gutsy to win at Newcastle, having relinquished the lead with a furlong to go before rallying to get back up just before the line, but her efforts were sadly in vain, as far as the double was concerned at least.
And that's because Prince Gibraltar had earlier failed to hold on at York, being caught and passed by a couple of challengers very late in the piece, meaning nearly but not quite for us double hunters.
Saturday's results were as follows:
Prince Gibraltar : 3rd at 5/2 (adv 3/1)
Custom Cut : 4th at 7/2 (adv 3/1)
Sweet P : WON at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
Sherry : 3rd at 13/8 (adv 9/4)
Results to date:
635 winning selections from 2237 = 28.39%
201 winning bets in 580 days = 34.66%
P/L : +126.81pts (+10.94% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
New week, clean slate etc...
The O'Brien filly Loved is an interesting entrant here, making her handicap debut and just her third start. She's obviously well regarded as she holds a couple of group race entries, and it was at Group 3 level that she was first pitched into action and ultimately well beaten (Pleascach was the winner) over 1m2f, finishing ahead of just one rival.
She was then stepped up to 1m3.5f (just 0.5f shorter than today) for her other run at Limerick, where she won a maiden by half a length ahead of stablemate On A Pedestal to whom she was conceding 7lbs (14lbs inc jockey claims!) and who has since run and won off a mark of 83 (Killarney 12 days ago), suggesting that Loved's opening mark of 86 is workable. She is, admittedly, unproven on soft ground, hence her 4/1 BOG price tag, but that's a decent price based purely on whether she'll get the going!
Dermot Weld's Harasava looks the danger here and also arrives in good form and her runner-up finish two starts ago over 1m4.5f tells us that she'll be fine at this trip, she had a couple of subsequent winners behind her that day and she herself moved on to win next/last time out. She dropped back in trip to 1m2.5f to win by 0.75 lengths at Sligo six weeks ago and has been rested since.
A change of tactics was employed that day and today's jockey Pat Smullen decided to win the race from the front and the tactic proved decisive as they controlled the race from the head of the pack. Drawn in stall 1 today, there's every possibility, they'll try the same thing again and if allowed to dominate early on, Harasava could turn this into a procession at 9/4 BOG.
The 9yr old mare Choral Festival saves her best work for these spins around Windsor, with 6 of her 11 career victories coming here on this track and with 2 wins coming on the A/W, this is clearly her preferred venue! She's an 8-time winner over today's trip and stats suggest she's well suited by conditions here. I won't list all the reasons, but she's a 4-time C&D winner and field size / ground conditions / time of year / jockey / days since run etc are all favourable.
She comes here off the back of two excellent runs over course and distance, a runner-up (0.75L) on good ground five weeks ago before a win a fortnight ago. She only narrowly beat the favourite (who had beaten her in the previous race!) that day, but with the rest of the field well beaten a 3lb rise doesn't look too onerous and another good run at 5/1 BOG is expected from Choral Festival.
She will, however, have to beat Born To Be Bad if she wants that latest Windsor win. He comes here off the back of two wins and a runner-up finish in this last three outings and was a winner last time out off a mark of 70 in a 3yo handicap. This is an open age race and although he's up 3lbs for that win, he gets a very helpful 10lb weight for age allowance here.
That allowance effectively puts him 7lbs better off than winning run and has a positive jockey switch (IMO) to Richard Hughes who is in great form and has a good record on this track. Born To Be Bad gets the trip, as proven at Doncaster last time out and although the ground conditions are an unknown factor for him, I suspect he'll be the one to beat here at what looks an attractive 7/2 BOG with Coral.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Harasava / Born To Be Bad @ 13.63/1 (9/4 & 7/2 : Coral)
Harasava / Choral Festival @ 18.50/1 (9/4 & 5/1 : Coral)
Loved / Born To Be Bad @ 19.25/1 (7/2 & 7/2 : Betfair SB & Coral)
Loved / Choral Festival @ 26/1 (7/2 & 5/1 : Betfair SB & Coral)