Double Dutch, 30th December 2015
We've been finding single winners on a daily basis, so surely it was only a matter of time before we hit two on the same day and yesterday was a good day in that respect.
Caraline went into her race off the back of wins by 12L & 14L and despite a 17lb hike in the weights, I suggested that a mark of 97 was still workable and so it proved. She travelled really well throughout the contest and was the one with most left at the end, assuming control from the last fence an opening up a 15 lengths margin on the run in.
There's more to come from her and I'd expect her to turn out again very soon. All this meant we'd an 11/4 winner to take to Newbury 45 minutes later for what turned out to be a very attritional race indeed, where only two finished. The two were our Violet Dancer and the one I'd discarded from my shortlist of three, Stiletto.
The latter looked well poised to win, clearly travelling best of the pair, but found nothing for pressure after the last and our runner was able to open up a four length gap inthe final 100 yards to land us a much welcome/needed double at 11.19/1.
Tuesday's results were as follows:
Caraline : WON at 11/4 (adv 5/2)
Retrieve the Stick : 5th at 3/1 (adv 7/2)
Violet Dancer : WON at 15/8 (adv 9/4)
Balgarry : UR at 4/1 (adv 3/1)
Results to date:
766 winning selections from 2742 = 27.94%
239 winning bets in 710 days = 33.66%
P/L : +77.60pts (+5.47% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
At 2/1 BOG, nobody's getting rich if Alshan Fajer lands a hat-trick of wins at this venue inside three weeks. He won over 1m2f 21 days ago for a first career victory, before reappearing 11 days later to race over today's 1m4f trip where he was (rightly) awarded the race in the stewards room, having been narrowly defeated despite being carried very wide by the first past the post.
In his first win, he beat Vale of Iron by almost three lengths and that one has since landed a course and distance win here 11 days ago, which provides us with a little more confidnece in the selection of Alshan Fajer, who seems to get on well (2nd then 1st in two runs) with the in-form (8/34 in the last two weeks) Adam Kirby.
You could then make a case for several of his rivals as a (hopefully not needed) backup, but I'm going to go with Bennelong, who has been running consistently in defeat of late, finishing as a runner-up in each of his last three starts. The latest came at Kempton a fortnight ago, when defeated by just a neck off today's mark of 60 and whilst young Rhiain Ingram keeps the ride, she gets to take 7lbs off today, which is sure to help the cause.
Bennelong has won at this trip in the past and has also tasted success at this venue and whilst I clearly expect the bridesmaid role again today, he should be the best of the rest and as such, could be a tad long at 9/2 BOG.
Similar to the Newbury contest yesterday, 6 go to post here and I think it's a three horse race with one needed to be discarded and I'm leaving out Minella Reception here. He'll love the mud, but he has too much weight to carry in my opinion, hasn't run for 496 days, hasn't run this far and his yard (NTD) aren't quite in the same form as they were a month or two ago.
So, that leaves me with Elenika and Friendly Royal, who both come here in good form. Elenika was a 34 lengths winner on heavy ground at Chepstow last time out, although he was flattered by the margin of victory as his main rival fell two out. Trip and conditions should hold no fears for him here and trainer Venetia Williams will be keen to continue her success on heavy ground, where she has a near 20% strike rate, with another winner at 9/4 BOG.
9/4 BOG is also the price offered about Friendly Royal, who comes from Sue Smith's yard, which is 7/36 in the last month, whilst this horse is having an excellent season since the switch to the bigger obstacles, finishing 1512. Sue Smith also has a good record on heavy ground : over the last 5 yrs her chasers are 28/113 (24.8% SR) in the mud and Friendly Royal showed a liking for these conditions at Uttoxeter last time out, when only beaten by half a length.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Alshan Fajer / Elenika @ 8.75/1 (2/1 & 9/4 : Bet365 & Stan James)
Alshan Fajer / Friendly Royal @ 8.75/1 (2/1 & 9/4 : Bet365 & Betfair SB)
Bennelong / Elenika @ 16.88/1 (9/2 & 9/4 : Betfred, Betway & Totesport)
Bennelong / Friendly Royal @ 16.88/1 (9/2 & 9/4 : Betfair, Betfred, Betway & Totesport)