Double Dutch, 6th December 2013
Just like the current weather, I remain in the grip of a cold spell and even a change of scenery with a trip over the Irish Sea didn't bring about a change in fortune for us yesterday.
Daryl Jacob decided to take the wide scenic route aboard Lumpys Gold and ran about 3m 1f in a 2m 6f race and was "done" on the run in, going down by three parts of a length with 2nd choice Letemgo back in 4th, a further 11 lengths away. I'm not one for slating jockeys and I'm sure Daryl just got it wrong on this occasion: these things happen.
This rendered our second race irrelevant for the purpose of the double, which is probably just as well. Araglen Lad was sent off as 4/1 favourite despite having drifted from his overnight 2/1 and was still prominent when coming a cropper at the 2nd last, putting our hopes all upon New Phase.
This one had also been a drifter (7/2 to 11/2) and led approaching the last, but was soon joined and headed before finally coming home third, a couple of lengths off the pace.
Yesterday's results were as follows:
Lumpys Gold: 2nd at 5/1
Letemgo: 4th of 5!
New Phase: 3rd at 11/2
Araglen Lad: fell
Results to date:
74 winning selections from 268 = 27.61%
22 winning doubles in 73 days = 30.14%
P/L : -8.50pts (-5.90% ROI)
A couple of quite differing hurdle events to consider today:
Sylvan Legend (15/8 in places) was another of those horses that left mediocre form behind them once they went into handicap contests, winning at the first attempt at Taunton 8 days ago. he kept on well that day and should still have enough in his locker to go in again despite carrying a penalty. His yard is coming into some form of late and they seem to have carefully chosen a race containing several horses who have doubts over their jumping ability.
Of those rivals, Cuckoo Rock is the biggest danger to the selection. He has been placed in two of his last three efforts over timber and returns to hurdling after a gap of over 9 months. He hasn't been idling in that time, though: he has been running on the flat and notably scored at Goodwood three starts ago over 1m4f and he's certainly well handicapped based on his flat mark.
He'll certainly not be found wanting for speed between the hurdles and stamina shouldn't be an issue, as he stayed this trip on heavy ground at Lingfield on penultimate outing over hurdles (mid-January). The question, I suppose, is whether his jumping holds up, which is probably why we can get up to 9/2 about him for this.
Saint Roque sets the standard here and after rattling up four successive wins comes here in the form of his life. He produced a career best performance last time out (Cheltenham, 7 weeks ago) and looks to have ideal conditions here. This horse failed to win any of his first seven races, but since teaming up with jockey Daryl Jacob, he's four from five.
Beat That, however, will ensure that Saint Roque doesn't have it al his own way. An unexposed type who was a good 10 lengths winner on his hurdling debut at Ascot a fortnight ago. He could have won by much further that day, but once the job had been done, Barry Geraghty spared him any unnecessary exertion. This one is aimed towards Cheltenham in March, so you'd expect a big run is needed today.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Sylvan Legend / Saint Roque @ 7.56 generally
Sylvan Legend / Beat That @ 7.56 with Coral
Cuckoo Rock / Saint Roque @ 15.13 with BetVictor
Cuckoo Rock / Beat That @ 15.13 with Coral