Double Dutch, 29th May 2014
Aldborough shaped very well on his handicap debut to further extend Ralph Beckett's excellent recent form and also his good record at Chepstow. The took control with over 300 yards to run and stayed on to win by a length and a half. My original preferred option, Calm Attitude was back in fourth, eight lengths off the pace having been eased down once beaten.
An easing in price for Aldborough out to 11/4 meant we'd a nice stake moving forward, but in race two, the ugly spectre of Sods Law reappeared to compound an initial poor selection. I'd gone with Newtown Cross, as conditions seemed set up for him, but weakened considerably late on and finished 5th of the 8 runners, beaten by 8 lengths.
And then came the hammer blow to our double, I'd been debating (in my head!) between 13-race maiden Montjess and the favourite Arashi. well, Montjess is now a 14-race maiden and Arashi won the race. I, of course, was on Montjess! She finished fourth, four lengths adrift of Arashi and she ran well enough, but faded out of the frame inside the final furlong.
The only positive thing to take from the day is a reminder to follow Ralph Beckett at Chepstow!
Wednesday's results were as follows:
Aldborough: won at 11/4 (adv 5/2)
Calm Attitude: u/p at 5/2 (adv 11/4)
Montjess: u/p at 7/2 (adv 4/1)
Newtown Cross: u/p at 7/2 (adv 6/1)
Results to date:
242 winning selections from 870= 27.82%
77 winning bets in 227 days = 33.92%
P/L : +33.91pts (+7.50% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
Thursday's selections are as follows...
Where all eyes will probably be on the current 5/2 BOG favourite Norway Cross. She's very lightly raced with just three starts to her name. She was second on debut when beaten over 10f on heavy ground at Sandown last September and she followed that up with an impressive 9 lengths victory over today's trip and also on heavy ground up at Pontefract a month later.
She was stepped two class to C3 for her seasonal reappearance at bath earlier this month and wasn't at her best, but you could put that down to rustiness, the step up in class or the good ground (or any combination of them!). She drops down in class here, will benefit from having had a run and trip/going conditions look ideal. She'll be tough to beat.
My second choice is a bit more of an outsider, but one I like for at least an E/W punt away from the doubles. One Pursuit is no mug, having won 6 of his 16 starts to date. He has won three of his four runs on soft/heavy ground and is three from five when running at today's kind of trip. He is starting to develop a decent relationship with today's jockey, the 7lb claimer Jenny Powell, they have a 114 record together: all three runs over this trip and they're 2/2 on heavy ground.
One Pursuit is currently priced at 8/1 BOG, which looks a bit long to me in a 9-runner race,so I'll be having a small E/W bet alongside the double.
Only five are set to go to post for this on today and the two I'm interested in are the only two with any proven form in testing conditions.
Both of End of Line's UK starts have been on soft ground and he was an easy six lengths winner at Doncaster on debut over 7f last October. He was then the runner-up here over course and distance five weeks ago, when after being held up for a run, was denied a clear/smooth passage and encountered all kinds of trouble, before finishing very strongly to come from last of eight to take second inside the final half furlong.
He was last seen 18 days when clearly attempting to punch above his weight in the French 2,000 Guineas, where he was beaten by seven lengths on ground probably too quick for him. I see his entry to that race as a positive indicator of his yard's thoughts about him and he runs for Andrew Balding, who is a man to follow in testing conditions: backing all his 219 sub-12/1 runners on soft/heavy ground over the last five seasons has given a 19.2% strike rate and an ROI of 33.7%.
David Barron is another trainer who excels with horses running over trips of 6 to 10 furlongs on ground described as soft or heavy. His only runner of the day is Indy, who was impressive when winning at Doncaster on debut in November over 6f on soft ground. He's stepping up in trip today, but that shouldn't be an issue as he's by Indian Haven, a Group 1 winner over a mile on soft ground (Irish 2,000 Guineas) and out of Maddies Pearl who stayed 10f.
He was 14/1 when he beat the 8/15 favourite Penny Drops at Doncaster and the latter has since finished 212, narrowly beaten at Goodwood last Saturday, but clocking up a decent Racing Post rating of 92 in the process.
If Indy handles the step up in trip, I see an interesting duel between my two runners, who are both priced at 5/2 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Norway Cross / End of Line @ 11.25/1 (5/2 & 5/2 : Ladbrokes)
Norway Cross / Indy @ 11.25/1 (5/2 & 5/2 : Betfair Sportsbook)
One Pursuit / End of Line @ 30.50/1 (8/1 & 5/2 : Ladbrokes)
One Pursuit / Indy @ 30.50/1 (8/1 & 5/2 : Ladbrokes)