Double Dutch, 5th December 2013
My recent mini-slump continues unabated, I'm afraid, as I wasn't even able to find a single winner yesterday, never mind the double.
Uramazin was just touched off by a head at a decent price of 5/1, but that was about as good as it got, as I'd a non-runner and the 4th of 6 in the following race.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Uramazin: 2nd at 5/1
Bancnuanaheireann: 4th of 5!
Buxom: 4th of 6
Pass The Time: non-runner
Results to date:
74 winning selections from 264 = 28.03%
22 winning doubles in 72 days = 30.56%
P/L : -6.50pts (-4.58% ROI)
All of which means that I could really do with a winning day, but I'm pretty confident of getting with these selections:
I'm going to side with a couple of unexposed types here and for the likeliest winner, I can't really see beyond Paul Nicholls' Lumpy Gold. This 5yr old is destined to be a chaser in the future, but will win hurdles races in the meantime, probably starting today.
He's a 13/8 shot to get off the mark at the third attempt, after running with great credit to finish second in both of his previous runs, including one over today's course and distance last time out (14 days ago). Although he could only manage second that day, he was over 30 lengths clear of the next horse and an opening handicap mark of 110 doesn't look too onerous in an average-looking race.
My "plan B" safety net is going to be Letemgo, who won here (2m 4f) seven weeks ago, before finishing third twice: once at Ascot and then stepping up in trip to 24.5f at Taunton last time out. A drop back to 2m 6f is expected to be more to his liking and his previous course knowledge make him an ideal alternate pick at decent odds of up to 8/1.
I can't help but thinking that the outcome of this race will depend on which of the two at the head of the market copes best with their rise in the weights.
New Phase will have to burden top weight after being given a 3lb penalty based on the quality of his run in a 2 lengths defeat to Rubert on this track three weeks ago. That 3lbs for not winning might look a little harsh, but he has already shown in his four chase outings, that there's more to come from a horse rated some 20lbs higher over hurdles than today's chasing mark. The drop back in trip will help him, as he's 5/13 over this distance and looks a decent proposition at 7/2.
He won't, of course, have it all his own way and he might well struggle to beat the favourite Araglen Lad, if the latter handles the 8lb penalty given to him for his win at Gowran Park 12 days ago. He won by 15 lengths that day, but the bare result doesn't tell the whole story, as he was locked in a battle for the lead until 2 out when the favourite fell, handing the race to Araglen Lad, so the 8lb winning penalty might be a tad harsh. He looks a real danger at 2/1, but the nagging doubt about the weight makes New Phase my first pick.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles with Seanie Mac as follows:
Lumpy Gold / Araglen Lad @ 7.50
Lumpy Gold / New Phase @ 11.25
Letemgo / Araglen Lad @ 24.00
Letemgo / New Phase @ 36.00