Double Dutch, 28th July 2014
It's a streaky game is Double Dutch. When you're in the groove, there's no stopping you. But just at the moment, we've got a nasty bout of one-out-of-two-itis. Saturday's effort was gazumped in the first, which was a real shame, as the drift on race two's winner was sensational. Renown ended up a 7/1 victor, and our 300th individual winner. But we couldn't get anything to pair it with, and the possible 29/1 double with Windhoek was just two necks from fruition.
Two necks, a million miles, it sort of amounts to the same thing in this game. Still, it's the start of a fresh week and, while not easy today, there are a couple of races I quite like the look of, starting on the west coast of Scotland.
Saturday's results were as follows:
Windhoek: 3rd at 6/4 (adv 11/4)
Danadana: 6th at 4/1 (adv 5/1)
Renown: won at 7/1 (adv 9/4)
Sindarban: 2nd at 2/5 (adv 13/8)
Results to date:
300 winning selections from 1062 = 28.25%
99 winning bets in 277 days = 35.74%
P/L : +63.16pts (+11.36% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
We start with an extended middle distance handicap at Ayr, and I was tempted to nominate Gold Chain as Stat of the Day today. That was on the strength of her jockey's form. Emma Sayer is a five pound claimer, and daughter of trainer Dianne Sayer. She's in great fettle just now with four of her five mounts making the frame in the past fortnight. Here at Ayr, Emma has a 4-19 record, with another four making the frame.
But it's Gold Chain who is the key. The daughter of Authorized has shown improved form since stepped up in trip, as so many Authorized progeny do, and her form at beyond a mile and a half reads 22112. On good to firm ground, that record improves to 11.
Clearly on the improve, Gold Chain can defy a six pound higher mark, despite Geanie Mac ostensibly being weighted to reverse form (that one has nothing like the potential of our lass).
We get two chances in Double Dutch, and my second bullet is Mister Uno, a three year old in receipt of lumps of weight-for-age. He carries a stone less than Gold Chain, despite being rated almost on a par, such is the concession for the youngsters.
Be that as it may, older horses do have a maturity edge, and Mister Uno will not find it easy, even with the feather weight. Decent ground and middle distances have been the making of him, and he's won and been second since moving up in trip on good or quicker. Today he steps up another quarter mile which I'm not certain he'll stay, but he could get to control things on the front and potentially dictate a muddling pace. If he does, he might be tough to pass.
Thorntoun Care is no bargain, and though he may improve for the step up in trip, the quicker ground is far from certain to suit. Favouritism is a shot in the dark to my eye.
We'll take a nice bet into leg two if we can survive the first half, and this four runner mares' novice hurdle looks to be between the progressive pair of Sureness and Tender Surprise. Both are rated 110, to Jaja De Jau's 100, and both look to have more scope than that one, having made fewer trips to the racecourse in their hurdling careers to date.
Tender Surprise has won her last two, albeit both in selling company, but with nothing rated higher than 110, this is actually little more than a seller. And Tender Surprise did beat horses rated 118 and 120 last time, notwithstanding that a) she was in receipt of weight, and b) they may not be the same animals that achieved those respective perches.
Sureness has had just five hurdle runs, the pick of which was a course and distance victory two starts ago. Since then, she was well beaten in a better race, and this return to familiar climes will be welcome. She has bags of scope, and could bid to make all.
Jaja De Jau is a short runner, and has gone from cruising to losing on plenty of occasions (I should know, I am in the racing club that owns her!). She could win this, but she has doubtful stamina even at an easy minimum such as this.
More of a fly in the ointment might be the once raced Cherry Lodge, who drops back in trip from a two mile five furlong maiden hurdle she contested here on her debut. She was behind the right pair, in ratings and betting terms, that day, but she did no more than the market suggested she should. If the shorter trip works in her favour, she might trouble the nominees, and Richard Johnson is an eye-catching booking. But I've nailed my colours to the mast, and we'll sail the good ship Double Dutch on that basis today.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Gold Chain / Sureness @ 14.72/1 (5/1 & 13/8 : BetVictor)
Gold Chain / Tender Surprise @ 25/1 (5/1 & 10/3: Coral)
Mister Uno / Sureness @ 10.79/1 (7/2 & 13/8 : BetVictor)
Mister Uno / Tender Surprise @ 17/1 (7/2 & 3/1 : BetVictor)