Double Dutch, 29th December 2014
Double Dutch ran into double trouble on Saturday, as not only did we once again hit the crossbar with a winner/runner-up combo, I also got bitten on the backside by the winner of race 2.
Things went pretty much to plan at Kempton, where Vibrato Valtat defied a welcome drift (11/4 from 9/4) in the market to gamely stick to to his task and win by half a length, after the money had all piled on our other selection Gods Own (13/8 from 5/2), but the best he could manage was third, some 10 lengths off the pace.
I had rightfully ignored the claims of falling star Grandouet, who was well beaten (63 lengths) on the day, but my words came back to haunt me in race 2 after I'd told you all that..."Lean On Pete holds Hussar Ballad off that last outing and looks dangerous here today off a mark 5lbs lower than that last win..."
Of course, Hussar Ballad proved me wrong by not only beating Lean On Pete by 6.5 lengths into 4th place, he actually made all to win the race, with our best result being Luv U Whatever's 3-length defeat in second place.
Saturday's results were as follows:
Vibrato Valtat: won at 11/4 (adv 9/4)
God's Own: 3rd at 13/8 (adv 5/2)
Luv U Whatever: 2nd at 11/10 (adv 13/8)
Lean On Pete: u/p at 7/2 (adv 7/2)
Results to date:
446 winning selections from 1550 = 28.77%
141 winning bets in 402 days = 35.07%
P/L : +93.92pts (+11.69% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
A massively reduced weather-hit race programme awaits us today, but as they say, the show must go on! And despite a couple of setbacks over the last week, we're still in with a shout of finishing the year on a profit of over 100pts and today represents the first of three opportunities to get there.
I've decided to take a slightly different approach today, selecting two races where i'm pretty confident of landing the winner and then taking a couple of longer likely E/W types as backups...
The one expected to win here is the 5/2 BOG rated On The Shannon, who looks a real danger receiving stacks of weight from his rivals and was by no means disgraced last time out at Thurles a month ago. He was only beaten by a length behind 110-rated Federici, who in turn was only touched off by half a length on Saturday at Limerick in a Grade 2 contest.
His trainer Oliver McKiernan has been unlucky here at the festival with four top four finishers from his five runners so far, but no winners. However, two of those were beaten by just a nose and I'd expect On The Shannon to avenge those narrow defeats from the weekend.
None of his rivals come here in any great form and Knocklong's third place effort last time out seems to be the pick of the form and even that came 21 weeks ago over hurdles! He was, however, third in a similar standard of event over course and distance back in January and does seem to go well at this time of year. He's not a bad shout as an E/W punt at 7/1 BOG, but in all honesty, you're relying on the favourite to make a mistake or two to let Knocklong in. Stranger things have, of course, happened!
Morito du Berlais seems the one to back here at 9/4 BOG (Stan James), as this relatively lightly raced 5 yr old seeks to continue his excellent winter campaign which so far has seen him win twice and finish third last time out. That defeat was at Haydock just over seven weeks ago over 2m 4f and he was staying on at the end suggesting that today's extra furlong will help, especially as his previous two outings were at 2m5f and 2m7f.
He was a length and a half ahead of Dawalan last time out and the latter has since gone on to win at Ascot and as this looks a slightly weaker contest than the Haydock race, a mere repeat of his run should be enough to see him home. The trip / ground conditions / field size and jockey are all positives here and Morito du Berlais will take some stopping.
But, as I said earlier, things don't always go to plan, so we need another runner and I'm going to look towards the bottom of the weights, where I might be tempting fate by saying I have a slight preference for Polamco over Singlefarmpayment. The latter seems to have been reasonably well treated by his opening handicap mark, but hasn't run this far yet and nor has he run on soft ground before. He's a winner in the making after two runner-up finishes, but I hope today isn't that day!
Polamco comes here in good nick (1331 in his last four outings), has won over 2m6f last time out and has some decent soft ground runs under his belt. He probably isn't quite good enough to take this on merit, but at 8/1BOG (Ladbrokes) is worth a second look as an E/W bet and is the one most likely to benefit if the main selection fails to shine.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
On The Shannon / Morito du Berlais @ 9.50/1 (5/2 & 2/1: BetVictor, Boylesports & Ladbrokes)
On The Shannon / Polamco @ 30.50/1 (5/2 & 8/1 : Ladbrokes)
Knocklong / Morito du Berlais @ 23/1 (7/1 & 2/1 : generally)
Knocklong / Polamco @ 71/1 (7/1 & 8/1 : Bet365)