Double Dutch, 29th December 2015
On current form, you don't need to be Nostradamus to have predicted that I'd find one winner from two races yesterday and so it proved. In fact the only surprise to many was the 4 length defeat of the heavily backed favourite, Road To Respect, in our opener at Leopardstown. And with Bellow Mome a further 24 lengths back in fourth, our bet was down before racing had really begun for the day.
So, whilst it was reassuring to find the 9/4 winner at Leicester 45 minutes later, Moscow Me's battling performance in the mud counted for nothing but my male pride with another 2pts gone.
Monday's results were as follows:
Road To Respect : 3rd at 4/6 (adv 13/8)
Bellow Mome : 4th at 5/1 (adv 11/4)
Moscow Me : WON at 9/4 (adv 7/4)
Kerryhead Storm : 4th at 7/2 (adv 7/2)
Results to date:
764 winning selections from 2738 = 27.90%
238 winning bets in 709 days = 33.57%
P/L : +73.51pts (+5.19% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Caraline (5/2 with Betway) hosed up by 12 lengths on her chasing debut at Newcastle on soft ground a month ago and then eased to a 14 length win over hurdles at Sedgefield six days later. Yes, she's up in weight and this looks a tougher ask, but she's had 25 days rest, gets weight from all bar one of her rivals and is clearly the form horse here. I'm not convinced she's been burdened enough to anchor Caraline just yet and based on the ratings on those she has beaten of late, 97 could still be a very workable mark.
In opposition, I'm taking Retrieve the Stick at 7/2 BOG. This 6yr old was also a winner LTO, getting home by a couple of lengths on soft ground also at Sedgefield five weeks ago and is only raised 3lbs for that effort. She's 1 from 1 here at Kelso and like many of Malcolm Jefferson's horses, has won on heavy ground in the past. The yard is in good form, has a decent record at this track, as does today's jockey and all told, this could be an interesting contest, if Retrieve The Stick doesn't let Caraline dominate too easily.
Just five go to post here and both mine and the market's opinions suggest that it's a three horse race, from which I need to discard just one (Sod's Law is the danger here, of course!), which today is going to be Stiletto, due to the poor recent form of the Paul Nicholls yard (yes, tempting fate). Each of the yard's last 22 runners have been beaten, as have 55 of his last 60 entrants in chase contests.
This leaves us with the 9/4 BOG Violet Dancer, who has finished 121 in three starts over fences, represents an in-form yard (G Moore) and hosed up by 22 lengths last time out off the same 140 mark as today. A repeat of that performance should be more than enough here and he'd be the one I'd back if pushed for an outright decision.
Thankfully, Double Dutch gives us an often-needed second bit of the cherry and that's going to be the 3/1 BOG Balgarry, who also comes here off the back of a win in a handicap chase last time out. He didn't have it all his own way at Taunton 19 days ago, but stayed on well to win by the best part of three lengths with a couple of those behind him subsequently making the frame again since.
Balgarry is lightly raced for his age, has a track and trip success under his belt (albeit over hurdles) and as a smart (Gr3) hurdler in the past, clearly has ability and the potential to improve over fences. He's certainly in the right yard (D Pipe) to be given the opportunity.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Caraline / Violet Dancer @ 10.38/1 (5/2 & 9/4 : Betway)
Caraline / Balgarry @ 13/1 (5/2 & 3/1 : Betway)
Retrieve the Stick / Violet Dancer @ 13.63/1 (7/2 & 9/4 : Betfair SB & Paddy Power)
Retrieve the Stick / Balgarry @ 17/1 (7/2 & 3/1 : Betfair SB, BetVictor & Paddy Power)