Double Dutch, 8th November 2014
The key to winning at backing horses is the elimination of fancied runners. By doing that, we put the market in our favour and can isolate value against what we consider to be 'the hound'. Yesterday, I got that wrong. Well, actually, I got it right, and then wrong.
In leg one, I was against Al Musheer, and he was soundly beaten. Alas, in leg two, I was against Frozen Princess, and she ran out a ready winner in what was almost certainly a terrible race. The truth of it is that it was a bad race selection as much as a bad choice of horse to oppose. There was a moment shortly before the off when they bet 11/4 twice and 3/1 twice. That is waaaay too competitive to be taking that sort of price about.
Long and short, a losing day, despite El Beau becoming the 400th individual winner in 362 days of the service. Today is competitive, even by Saturday standards, so I'm just going to go for a bit of a price double. You might choose to sit this one out, or reduce your stakes, or just play along with me as I chase a fat pairing.
Friday's results were as follow
El Beau: won at 9/5 (adv 6/4)
Blue Talisman: PU at 15/2 (adv 4/1)
Miss Jonh: 3rd at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
George Bailey: 5th at 5/2 (adv 5/2)
Results to date:
400 winning selections from 1395 = 28.67%
128 winning bets in 363 days = 35.26%
P/L : +42.67pts (+5.88% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
A really open looking contest, and one in which I hope Mr Utah needs the run as he's feared. But I'm taking The Last Samuri and Samstown against the rest. The first name is a Donald McCain inmate, and that yard is starting to turn the corner, with five winners from 14 runners since the beginning of November after a slow seasonal start.
The Last Samuri has only had five starts - winning the middle three - and will doubtless have more to come this term. He won over 3m2f at Catterick on soft ground, so this furlong further on slightly quicker should be fine; and he was probably tilting at windmills a bit when having a crack at the Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle on his final start back in April. Dropping fully five grades into Class 3 should see TLS go close.
Samstown has been chasing for the past two years, and with some success too. In fact, he won a Grade 2 novices' handicap event when last seen in April. His hurdle form was fair as a novice, and he's improved considerably since then. If he can translate fencing form to timber - quite a big if, granted - he'll be well suited by trip and ground.
An hour later and we'll go again at the Borders track. The obvious one - indeed the only 'line of green' runner on The Shortlist today - is Swift Arrow. These are patently his conditions: trip, grade, ground, track are all spot on. He won this race last year off 128, and has just six pounds more to lug this time. A pipe opener over course and distance last time will have put him bang on for today, and he's another that hails from the bubbling McCain yard.
Alongside him, I'll take a real chance with the dodgy fencer, Rockawango. Eight chase starts have yielded form figures of 15FP4PFF, which looks a better Scrabble rack than a horse to back..! But he's talented, and was going to win before falling at the last on his final chase start at Perth in May. A pound below his last (and only) winning chase mark, and with brave conditional Dale Irving taking another seven off his back, he is weighted to get involved if he can just get round.
4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:
The Last Samuri / Swift Arrow - 15.24/1 (10/3 & 11/4 Coral)
The Last Samuri / Rockawango - 20.65/1 (10/3 & 4/1 Coral)
Samstown / Swift Arrow - 17.75/1 (4/1 & 11/4 BetVictor)
Samstown / Rockawango - 24/1 (4/1 & 4/1 PP)