Double Dutch, 31st December 2015
Tuesday saw us get two winners and then none yesterday! However, it's better for us to do it that way than keep getting the single unmatched winners!
It was actually one of those "nearly" days, as we got the runner-up and the third placed horse in each of our chosen races and thankfully it wasn't one of my discards that denied us success.
Alshan Fajer was the runner-up at Lingfield, getting caught right on the line to get beaten by a nose and then a couple of hours later at haydock, Friendly Royal was beaten by a length and three quarters after being outstayed. He was beaten by far enough to stop us thinking "if only" or "what if", I suppose!
Wednesday's results were as follows:
Alshan Fajer : 2nd at 11/10 (adv 2/1)
Bennelong : 3rd at 8/1 (adv 9/2)
Friendly Royal : 2nd at 7/4 (adv 9/4)
Elenika : 3rd at 7/4 (adv 9/4)
Results to date:
766 winning selections from 2746 = 27.90%
239 winning bets in 711 days = 33.61%
P/L : +75.60pts (+5.32% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
The JP McManus-owned Sir Abbot hasn't quite produced the expected results over fences just yet, but has been unlucky to bump into Willie Mullins in each of his three novice chases to date. He now makes the step into handicap company off a mark 10lbs lower than his hurdles rating and with no Mullins' runners to worry about here, could potentially be thrown in.
He has already won a PTP at Avaune, a bumper at Ballinrobe and a hurdles contest at Clonmel (perhaps he needs a chase at a track beginning with D?) and his best results come at these shorter trips (2 wins and 2 places from 5 starts at 16/16.5f). Connections know what they're doing, of course, and if running to his true ability, this should be Sir Abbot's for the taking at 9/4 BOG.
The one he should fear most is the 11/4 BOG Rolling Rocket, who showed a liking for these conditions by landing a 2m chase on heavy ground at Naas last time out. He won by 8 lengths that day, stringing out a reasonable looking field in an attritional contest and has been given ample time (54 days) to recover. He has been raised 6lbs for that effort, which is fair and he retains the same jockey from that outing.
The jockey was claiming 2lbs off a mark of 96 that day, but he now gets to take 5lbs off the revised mark of 102, effectively making Rolling Rocket just 3lbs higher for 8 lengths and that should be well within his capabilities, if able to reproduce the effort.
These 9 runners are collectively holding 1 win between them from 85 races, so it's pretty reasonable to assume a lack of depth here! This makes Rebekah Rabbit's runner-up finish last time out arguably the best piece of recent form on offer (When In Roam won a bumper 8 starts and 28 months ago!). That run was only her fifth start (4 over hurdles) and was her handicap debut 39 days ag0, when beaten by 3 lengths on soft ground over 2m4f.
Conditions are a bit worse today, but she does drop back slightly in trip and in her favour is a win and a runner-up finish from 2 PTP races in difficult conditions, showing that stamina shouldn't be a problem today. Shaky Gift was 20 lengths further back in fourth place at Uttoxeter, but she reappeared to win at Fakenham 11 days ago and with Rebekah Rabbit receiving weight from most of her rivals here, 9/4 BOG looks fair.
As a backup, I'm going to go with Solidago, who despite being a 20-race maiden, has been solidly consistent in defeat, with 9 top 3 finishes from his 20 starts (45% place SR), of which there are 6 placed efforts from 15 over hurdles. He's never raced over 2m3f before, but has made the frame four times from seven efforts at 2m2f/2m4f in the past and this is probably the weakest race he's tackled and his experience might just tell.
Ciaran Gethings takes 5lbs off here today, effectively putting Solidago on his lowest mark yet and I suppose if he's ever going to win a race, he probably won't be afforded a much better opportunity than this one. The unexposed favourite above is clearly the one to beat, but this might become a slow tactical affair, which you'd expect to suit the more experienced Solidago, making him therefore of obvious interest at 7/2 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Sir Abbot / Rebekah Rabbit @ 9.56/1 (9/4 & 9/4 : generally)
Sir Abbot / Solidago @ 13.63/1 (9/4 & 7/2 : generally)
Rolling Rocket / Rebekah Rabbit @ 11.19/1 (11/4 & 9/4 : Hills)
Rolling Rocket / Solidago @ 15.88/1 (11/4 & 7/2 : Hills, Betfair SB and Paddy Power)