Double Dutch, 5th March 2015
The positive thing to take from Wednesday was that I got back amongst the winners, even if I couldn't land the double.
Nouvelle Ere was my strongest bet of the day and I did say that the 11/4 on offer looked excellent value and so it proved as he won by the best part of two lengths at a more realistic 13/8 SP.
My punt pick Thirtypointstothree wasn't disgraced, but finished in 5th place at the advised 8/1, just 4 lengths off the pace and all of this would have been brilliant had the two market leaders not been left trailing in race 1.
Five set off, 1 didn't finish and our two picks came home 3rd and 4th, beaten by 15 and 48 lengths respectively!
Wednesday's results were as follows:
Henri de Boistron : u/p at 5/4 (adv 15/8)
Cousin Guillaume : u/p at 2/1 (adv 2/1)
Nouvelle Ere : WON at 13/8 (adv 11/4)
Thirtypointstothree : u/p at 8/1 (adv 8/1)
Results to date:
506 winning selections from 1771 = 28.57%
159 winning bets in 459 days = 34.64%
P/L : +102.40pts (+11.16% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
We're still in pretty decent shape, but I could do with topping up the bottom line via these two races on Thursday...
Miss Estela not only looks the best on display here, it's also interesting that she now makes her handicap bow over hurdles, despite still being eligible for mares' maidens. She won her first two starts (bumpers), before a creditable 5th place in a bumper at Cheltenham back in November. She was then only beaten by three parts of a length on her hurdling debut just before Christmas (2m3f, soft, Exeter).
Her only other (& latest) run was a third place finish at Huntingdon eight weeks ago, where she showed more promise, but was unfortunately overhauled in the closing stages. 2m5.5f on soft ground was a step too far for this young hurdler that day and the drop back in trip is likely to suit Miss Estela better here in her bid for a first hurdles win at 2/1 BOG. The runner-up from that race has since re-appeared and won.
Trainer Micky Hammond has a decent record on soft (or worse) ground here at Carlisle and his 9/2 BOG (Betbright) chance Rayadour is possibly the best of his four option here today. This horse is 4/12 over hurdles, so he knows what the game is about and in handicap hurdles with "soft" in the going description, he has won four of seven starts, including his latest run.
That was a win over 2m 4.5f on soft ground at Wetherby, where he beat Mighty Cliche by four lengths with that horse going on to finish 281 since. Rayadour is up 7lbs and this looks a slightly tougher task, but he did win easily last time out and his jockey's 5lb claim negates most of the rise as he drops back a furlong in trip, which should/could also help.
This looks to be a classic DD two-horse race that we like. Sleet (85/40 BOG with Betbright) represents the in-form Mick Appleby, who is having a great season here at Southwell and was only narrowly beaten two starts ago on his last crack at course and distance, beaten by a head by Very First Blade who has since made the frame in a stronger race than this or that one.
Sleet might well still be a maiden, but his figures are consistent and although he was fairly well beaten last time out stepping up to 7f, he had several of today's rivals behind and he still finished third. Dropping back to 6f here looks the key to getting Sleet off the mark at the 14th time of asking.
Unfortunately he always manages to find one (or two!) a little too good for him on the day and if that ends up being the case here, then it will probably be Fairy Wing who makes his debut for his new yard, having been off the track for 98 days. That said, when last seen, he ran very well to finish 2nd over 6f at Kempton at a big price on his final run for Ann Stokell; beaten by a length at 25/1 behind then-stablemate Waabel.
The break from racing shouldn't be an issue as that last outing came off the back of a 6 months absence and the fact that he's a former course and distance winner off a mark of 56 and now runs off 50 with a 5lb claimer on board must give Fairy Wing a real chance of returning with a win at 7/2 BOG (Bet365)
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Miss Estela / Sleet @ 7.44/1 (17/10 & 85/40 : BetBright)
Miss Estela / Fairy Wing @ 11.38/1 (7/4 & 7/2 : Bet365)
Rayadour / Sleet @ 14.63/1 (4/1 & 85/40 : BetBright)
Rayadour / Fairy Wing @ 20.67/1 (4/1 & 10/3 : BetVictor)