Double Dutch, 29th July 2015
It's becoming a bit like the film, Groundhog Day, here at DD, as we rattled the crossbar again yesterday.
We had both the winner and the runner-up at Goodwood (and a bonus in the shape of a 15/2 exacta), but had to settle for the minor honours at Wolverhampton.
Tuesday's results were as follows:
Livella Fella : 2nd at 5/2 (adv 2/1)
Invigorate : 3rd at 5/1 (adv 7/2)
Toormore : WON at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
Dutch Connection : 2nd at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
Results to date:
637 winning selections from 2245 = 28.37%
201 winning bets in 582 days = 34.54%
P/L : +122.81pts (+10.56% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Wednesday's selected races are...
Because First Sargeant's 6 length win at Wetherby last week was in an apprentices' race, he escapes any penalty and gets to run here off the same mark of 59. And in fact, he's effectively 2lbs better off as last week's 3lb claimer is replaced by the 5lb claim of Rachel Richardson, who is usually pretty good value for her claim. She has ridden 3 winners from 13 in the last fortnight and now partners a horse proven at both the trip and on soft ground.
First Sargeant has actually won over a longer trip than this on soft ground, as recently as 4 starts ago at Windsor, so if it becomes a test of stamina, I'd not expect that to be his undoing and I actually fully expect him to take this one at odds of around 5/2 BOG.
There's pros and cons about all of his rivals here and I think I'm going to take a 7/1 BOG punt on Stoked to be the backup here. Trainer Ed Walker has a good recent record at this track and jockey Antonio Fresu has a 1-in-3 strike rate over the last couple of months (7/21) and they now team up with a horse who has won on soft ground in the past.
Stoked, admittedly, hasn't performed as well as hoped/expected this year after a promising 2 yr old season (421), but hasn't encountered soft ground this term yet. He only lost by three quarters of a length to comfirmed mudlark Yeenaan on his first soft ground effort, before winning at Nottingham, beating Winterval (a winner 4 weeks ago) by four lengths. Conditions are better for Stoked here and with his 10lb weight for age allowance, could spring a surprise.
I think it will pay to side with a couple of unexposed types making their handicap debuts for in-form trainers here.
Decorated Knight has run creditably well so far, if not quite hitting the heights expected of a horse touted as a Derby runner. Roger Varian's runners are 6/12 in the last week and this horse looks a good contender to improve that figure. Second by a length on his only run as a 2yr old behind Commemorative (who won a Group 3 next time out) and then rested for 226 days.
Second again on his reappearance at Ripon by a length and a quarter but fully 12 lengths clear of the 4th placed horse who has won since, as did Decorated Knight on his third and final outing, comfortably scoring at Haydock 26 days ago and is now priced at around 7/4 BOG (generally) to double up.
To do so, he'll need to see off Pyjama Party, who also comes from a yard in good nick (the Haggas runners are 12/24 in the last fortnight) and has a similar profile to the horse above. Progressive improvement in four starts has seen finishes of 3221, culminating in a made-all five length romp at Ripon 23 days ago, where he really good have won by much further, had that been desired.
Only the runner-up from that race has reappeared since, but that horse (Glad Tidings) was himself an 8 lengths winner at Hamilton a fortnight ago. If the form from those two races works out and Pyjama Party is allowed his head again, then his current odds of 7/2 BOG from Bet365 might prove a little generous!
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
First Sargeant / Decorated Knight @ 9.31/1 (11/4 & 7/4 : Stan James & Ladbrokes)
First Sargeant / Pyjama Party @ 14.17/1 (5/2 & 10/3 : Hills)
Stoked / Decorated Knight @ 21/1 (7/1 & 7/4 : BetVictor, Paddy Power & Hills)
Stoked / Pyjama Party @ 34.67/1 (7/1 & 10/3 : Hills)