Double Dutch, 2nd December 2014
It was a rare blank day yesterday with no winners to tell you about and the best we could muster was a runner-up berth in the opener where Cove was beaten by 2.5 lengths on a day where the "girls" let us down a little.
Cove ran in the mares hurdle and was well supported, being sent off as the 2/1 favourite (adv 3/1), whilst the market was proven correct about the warm (7/4) morning favourite Southway Star, she drifted out to 3/1 and could only finish 4th of 6 (4th of 5 to finish) at 3/1, some 13.5 lengths shy of the winner in one of those races, where the outsider of the pack took the prize.
This meant very little rested on the fillies handicap at Wolverhampton 50 minutes later and it's just as well, I suppose! Only a neck separated our two runners with the drifting (10/1 from 8/1) Penny Garcia beating the well fancied 7/4 (from 2/1) favourite Be Royale by a neck, but our pair were back in 4th & 5th places respectively in an 8-runner field, despite only being beaten by a couple of lengths. That's how tight those sprints can get on the A/W.
Monday's results were as follows:
Cove: 2nd at 2/1 (adv 3/1)
Southway Star: u/p at 3/1 (adv 7/4)
Penny Garcia: u/p at 10/1 (adv 8/1)
Be Royale: u/p at 7/4 (adv 2/1)
Results to date:
421 winning selections from 1470 = 28.64%
134 winning bets in 382 days = 35.08%
P/L : +77.02pts (+10.06% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
So, it was more of a limping start to the new month than a flying one and I would hope for better today...
Master Dee has to be the logical starting point here, he brings the best form to the table and although running with a penalty, must be the one the others have to beat today. He's a former Irish point winner and has never finished out of the frame in any of his 6 starts under rules (213321). He won a bumper here back in January on heavy ground, so he has course form and won't mind the mud and stamina shouldn't be an issue despite the added weight today, as he drops down in trip after scoring at Musselburgh over 3 miles 25 days ago. Messrs McCain & Maguire do well here and will be looking to add another 13/8 BOG winner to their tallies.
Should the penalty/sharper trip prove too much, this could open the door for Zermatt, an unexposed 5yr old making just his fourth start. He showed considerable promise last year, winning a bumper on debut in April 2013, before going back intot he shed for almost 7 months, returning to finish a creditable third on his hurdling debut at Wetherby a year ago. He then didn't run again for a year and 6 days and clearly looked like he needed the run at Hexham 25 days ago, pulling up 2 from home.
It's interesting to see him turned out so quickly after two long gaps between his previous runs, suggesting his yard are happy enough with his chances here. His trainer John Quinn has got his horses runnning really well at the moment with 9 winners and 7 other placers from 33 runners since the start of November and his record here at Sedgefield is decent too with 7 winners from 18 in the last four years here. of those his runners are 6/15 over hurdles and if Zermatt runs like he did at Wetherby last year, then he could extend that record with a winner here at 100/30 BOG.
I don't think the weight/rating was the reason behind Jewellery's defeat at Fakenham a fortnight ago, but she just ran into a decent type carrying no weight at all and the trip was a bit of a stretch for her too. She was second that day, beaten by 15 lengths over 3m 0.5f on soft ground. The drop back in trip and better ground will certainly help her today and most of her best work has come in and around today's 2m 4.5f. She's 2/2 on good to soft ground and her form over the last 4 months has been brilliant.
She finished 131 in three hurdles events before switching to fences, she was beaten by just a neck on each of her first two efforts in chases, before a win at Exeter was followed by one over course and distance here three weeks ago, which was her last outing before the defeat at Fakenham a fortnight ago. Trip, track and conditions all look ideal for Jewellery here today and she could well return to the winners enclosure at a decent price of 9/2 BOG.
I was torn between Gold Ingot and Ballymoat as the other pick in this race and although Gold Ingot has made the frame in each of his two runs over fences, he hasn't actually looked like winning any of those races and will probably struggle to concede weight to Ballymoat, who seemed to have the race in the bag before falling at the last fence at Newcastle when leading 18 days ago. Prior to that outing he had been placed in three of his five chase contests and providing the fall has no effects on his confidence, Ballymoat could be the answer here at 11/4 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
Master Dee / Ballymoat @ 8.84/1 (13/8 & 11/4 : Boylesports)
Master Dee / Jewellery @ 12.75/1 (6/4 & 9/2 : Bet365 & Hills)
Zermatt / Ballymoat @ 14/1 (3/1 & 11/4 : BetVictor, Betfair, Stan James & Paddy)
Zermatt / Jewellery @ 21/1 (3/1 & 9/2 : Bet365 & Hills)