Double Dutch, 2nd January 2014
A winner and a runner-up was the best I could muster yesterday. Federici set the ball rolling with a nice win at 13/8, as he stayed on well to win by the best part of six lengths despite conceding chunks of weight all round.
Bocamix was our best placed runner in race 2, a 4-horse affair. I'd rightly swerved the favourite, who then unseated his rider at the first, but the 14/1 outsider Cara Court, who I couldn't find a reason to back, was punted into 4/1 and outstayed our selection by two lengths, making full use of the 17lbs he was getting from Bocamix.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Federici: won at 13/8 BOG (adv 11/8)
Billybuster: 4th at 5/2 adv (SP 9/4)
Bocamix: 2nd at 7/2 BOG (adv 3/1)
Forestside: 3rd of 4
Results to date:
106 winning selections from 360 = 29.44%
33 winning doubles in 97 days = 34.02%
P/L : +13.45pts (+7.01% ROI)
And so to today:
A 3m 1f chase on heavy ground could prove to be a slog, but I think conditions will be finer for Milborough, who was a winner last time out at Uttoxeter, three weeks ago on his chasing debut. He was a promising hurdler last season and demonstrated a fondness for soft/heavy ground with two wins and two places from just six efforts. The ground will be a major factor in this contest and could make him a decent pick at 13/8 BOG.
The main danger has to be the 11/8 favourite Swatow Typhoon, whose record reads 11131 and he's 3 from 3 here at Ayr. That might make him look a better option, but he does have to find 5lbs on official ratings and Milborough has been running in better company of late.
Despite eight runners lining up for this maiden, both the bookies and myself think it should pan out to be a two-horse affair. There's probably not a great deal to separate Carole's Destrier and Cloud Creeper and the market has them within half a point or so of each other.
Of the two, I have a slight preference for Carole's Destrier whose career record of 2282F2 doesn't tell the whole story. He may well have finished second on four of his six runs to date, but the total margin of defeat across all four efforts is less than six lengths.
He tends to be there or thereabouts, even his fall two starts ago was a promising run. He was leading and going well that day when making an error 2 from home and a continuation of his last few showings should be enough to take this weak contest at odds of 6/5 BOG.
Cloud Creeper, however, will make sure the favourite works for the victory and at odds of 13/8 (bet365) has to be respected. He's another "bridesmaid" with two successive runner-up finishes this winter taking his career tally to five places from seven effort to date. He was pipped at the post last time out in a better looking contest than this and the level of performance shown that day could well prove decisive here.
Either way, I expect one of these two bridesmaids to shed that tag!
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Swatow Typhoon / Carole's Destrier @ 5.225 (11/8 & 6/5)
Swatow Typhoon / Cloud Creeper @ 6.234 (11/8 & 13/8)
Milborough / Carole's Destrier @ 5.775 (13/8 & 6/5)
Milborough / Cloud Creeper @ 6.891 (13/8 & 13/8)