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Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 11th May 2015

No joy on Saturday, I'm afraid, as Nancy from Nairobi's half-length defeat at 9/2 as a runner-up at Lingfield proved to be the "highlight(?)" of our day. 11/4 favourite Flag War was a further 2.5 lengths and 2 places further back in the same race.

This rendered the race at Gowran Park some 80 minutes later largely irrelevant, but there was always the chance of a face-saving winner and who knows, maybe even a forecast?

Such hope were dashed before the stalls even opened as my main fancy Breenainthemycra had already been withdrawn from the contest, leaving just Love The Feeling to carry the DD flag.

11th of 12 and over 30 lengths off the pace isn't a good result by any stretch of the imagination and after as poor a day as we've had for a while, it's probably better to look forwards rather than back, but...

Saturday's results were as follows:

Nancy from Nairobi : 2nd at 9/2 (adv 3/1)
Flag War : 4th at 11/4 (adv 2/1)
----------------------------------------------------
Breenainthemycra : non-runner (adv 2/1)
Love The Feeling : 11th at 7/2 (adv 9/2)

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Results to date:
570 winning selections from 1990 = 28.64%
179 winning bets in 516 days = 34.69%

Stakes: 1031.50pts
Returns: 1132.16pts

P/L : +100.66pts (+9.76% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

And onto Monday...

3.40 Musselburgh:

Alan Swinbank's 8 winners from 39 in the last four weeks shows his yard is in good health at present and if you tie that in with his good record here at this track, you have to give any of his Musselburgh runners a second thought. The fact that Ralphy Lad is his only runner of the day and comes here seeking a hat-trick inside 18 days makes him of particular interest.

Ralphy Lad is up 6lbs for a pretty comfortable win at Hamilton eight days ago, but is due to go up by more than that when reassessed and is likely to be weighted out of winning again for a while once that happens. The manner of that last victory suggests he can go in again at 9/4 BOG, but if finding the combination of extra weight and distance too much, he could be in danger from Titus Bolt.

Musselburgh has become something of a second home for this horse, with each of his last five flat outings coming on this track, finishing 16312 with his record over 12.5/13f reading 1312 on a mixture of both good and soft ground. So none of track, trip or conditions should pose a problem here and he's in good nick, making Titus Bolt a real danger to the main selection at what might prove to be a generous 7/2 BOG.

*

4.05 Wolverhampton:

I think it's probably best to side wth the two last time out winners here in a race that doesn't look too deep on quality. Mark Johnston has a decent record here at Wolverhampton over the years and in the 7/2 BOG Cassandane, he has a lightly raced filly who was successful at Bath 18 days ago, despite not having run for 205 days and was making only her fifth start.

She beat the re-opposing Miss Inga Sock by three parts of a length that day and although the latter is better off at the weights today, Cassandane looked to have plenty left at Bath and should cope with a 6lb rise (halved by her jockey's claim) here. I'd expect her to come on for that run and provided she "gets" the new surface, I think she'll reconfirm those placings, with the bigger danger coming from Sir Mark Prescott's runner Merritt Island.

Her profile is similar to Cassandane's to be honest: just four starts, won for the first time last time out at Bath after a lengthy absence (193 days) and is up 6lbs for her efforts. The Prescott yard also have a good record here at Wolverhampton and with the string coming into some decent form (5122118 this month), they'll be looking for more winners to keep the ball rolling. Merritt Island is, however, the yard's only runner today and somebody hasd to pay for the diesel, so expect a decent run here at 2/1 BOG!

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Ralphy Lad / Merritt Island @ 8.75/1 (9/4 & 2/1 : generally)
Ralphy Lad / Cassandane @ 13.63/1 (9/4 & 7/2 : SkyBet, Paddy & Hills)
Titus Bolt / Merritt Island @ 12/1 (10/3 & 2/1 : Coral)
Titus Bolt / Cassandane @ 18.50/1 (10/3 & 7/2 : Coral)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 11th February 2015

So, after 440 days, we hit our 150th winning double, but at just 5.75/1, we're not quite ready to retire on the winnings.

The plan was a safety first approach to counteract the recent up and down nature of results and that there'd be some drift in the prices as the market contracted during the morning.

The safety first selection process worked with 1-2 finishes in both races, making a 5.75/1 double and two modest (12/5 & 13/5) exactas, but the selections actually shortened in price, so there was no bonus added to our BOG prices taken.

I suppose the exacta double at 11.25/1 was nice, but I'm not sure anyone (myself included!) would have done that!

Tuesday's results were as follows:

Engrossing : WON at 11/8 (adv 2/1)
Top of the Glas : 2nd at 6/4 (adv 11/8)
(The exacta paid £3.60)
------------------------------------------
Local Show : WON at Evens (adv 5/4)
Thunder and Rain : 2nd at 13/8 (adv 7/4)
(The exacta paid £3.40)

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Results to date:

484 winning selections from 1699 = 28.49%
150 winning bets in 440 days = 34.09%

Stakes: 879.50pts
Returns: 975.81pts

P/L : +96.31pts (+10.95% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

With the 150th double now safely in the bag, the next target/milestone is the 100pt barrier...

3.05 Lingfield:

Twelve days ago over this course and distance, Feb Thirtyfirst beat Uganda Glory by two and a half lengths with the rest of the filed fairly spread out behind them. The winner is quite fairly up 5lbs for the win and the runner-up is up 2lbs, effectively making him 3lbs better off, but I fancy them to be 1-2 again today in a race where only the now-withdrawn The Yank had any real recent form.

Feb Thirtyfirst (9/4 BOG) has won over 2m 2.5f on soft ground in the past, so I'm not too concerned about his stamina being tested with the extra weight, whilst the 7/2 BOG Uganda Glory has stayed 2 miles with cut in the ground before now.

*

3.55 Musselburgh:

The 11/8 BOG market leader Streets of Newyork has been in excellent form over hurdles this winter after being kept sharp and fit via a decent summer flat racing programme. He was beaten by just a head on his return on Boxing Day (Class 4), before stepping a grade to win by 4.5 lengths over today's course and distance (and Class 3 level) three weeks later (almost four weeks ago).

He has had one more outing since, 10 days ago also here at Musselburgh over today's track and trip once more and went really well to finish second, beaten by just over a length in a Listed contest. He's due to go up in weight soon and dropping back down in class, looks the one to beat here.

The biggest threat is expected to be from the 3/1 BOG El Beau, despite the rise in weight for this one of late. This 4 yr old is still relatively unexposed over hurdles, but has already had some excellent results in finishes of 112 coming after a very consistent and capable flat campaign. A win and a runner-up finish over today's course and distance sandwich a win at Sedgefield over a slightly longer trip and on softer ground, so the easier conditions today might help him cope with the extra weight.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

Feb Thirtyfirst / Streets of Newyork @ 6.31/1 (9/4 & 5/4 : Stan James)
Feb Thirtyfirst / El Beau @ 12/1 (9/4 & 3/1 : Ladbrokes)
Uganda Glory / Streets of Newyork @ 9.69/1 (7/2 & 11/8 : Betfair Sportsbook)
Uganda Glory / El Beau @ 14.75/1 (7/2 & 5/2 : Betfair Sportsbook)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 5th January 2015

Saturday seemed to typify the way the rest of last week went. In all honesty, I struggled to find two suitable races for the Double Dutch, but I felt that Paul Nicholls would land the Wincanton race with one of his two strong contenders in a six-runner race.

By process of elimination, I then ended up with a mares' bumper for race 2, the kind of race I normally give a very wide berth to, so you know what happened, don't you?

Yes, we got the winner of the bumper and she had drifted nicely out to 3/1 from our advised 15/8 and we had the third placed horse for good measure, but we'd already departed Wincanton empty handed, as the Nicholls runners could only finish 3rd and 4th of the 6 runners, well beaten by 8 and 14 lengths respectively.

A headscratcher, that's for sure!

Saturday's results were as follows:

Black River: 3rd at 15/8 (adv 13/8)
Rebel Rebellion: u/p at 4/1 (adv 6/1)
------------------------------------------
The Way It Works: won at 3/1 (adv 15/8)
Monbeg Dolly: 3rd at 5/2 (adv 5/2)

Results to date:
451 winning selections from 1574 = 28.65%
141 winning bets in 408 days = 34.56%

Stakes: 815.50pts
Returns: 897.42pts

Your first 30 days for just £1

P/L : +81.92pts (+10.05% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

I don't want the ROI to dip below the psychological 10% barrier, so we could do with a couple of winners from these regal selections today......

1.10 Lingfield:

The 12 yr old King Edmund might be enjoying an Indian Summer to his career and despite carrying penalty weight and conceding a stone to his rivals, looks the one to beat at 7/4 BOG today.

He has been in great form over the last year, winning once and placing six times from 10 efforts over fences, but has reverted to hurdles for his last two runs, of which he has won both and he was also a runner-up over hurdles back in April. So in the last year he has three wins and seven places from just 13 efforts. (Win 23.1%, Place 76.9%)

King Edmund is also 1/1 here at Lingfield, 2/6 on heavy ground (2311 in last 4 runs), has a good record in this grade and if coping with the extra weight, should just edge out...

...Krakatoa King who has finished second in his two hurdles runs to date, beaten by half a length at Plumpton in November (2m5f, heavy) before a 1.5 length defeat at the same track & trip on heavy ground, where King Edmund was the winner. Krakatoa King is now a pound better off today and that might just be the decisive factor, as the favourite attempts to lug 11-12 through the mud.

Krakatoa King clearly likes the heavy ground and they way he was staying on last time out suggests the step up in trip to 2m 7f shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience here. If pushed, I'd say he was a close second choice at 2/1 BOG.

*

1.30 Musselburgh:

My stat-based micro-systems tell me that this should be a two-horse race between Aye Well (11/4 BOG) and the 9/4 BOG favourite Blackwater King and the bookies would seem to agree with the next horse in the betting being out at 11/2.

Aye Well is trained by Stuart Coltherd, whose handicap chasers are 24/139 (17.3% SR) for 78.8pts (+56.7% ROI) over the last four years and 20/70 for 57.5pts below 8/1.

This 10 yr old came of the back of a 690 day absence to make a chasing debut at Kelso in November, finishing a promising third before a couple of efforts at Newcastle, where he was a runner-up (beaten by half a length) well clear of subsequent winners and he looked to be going really well before running out of steam last time out.

Stamina might possibly hold the key to that poor finish last time, so a drop back in trip might just help him get going again. He has some decent hurdling form at this trip, likes the soft ground and with just 10 races under his belt, has hardly been overworked as a 10 yr old!

Blackwater King represents Donald McCain whose own chasers are 10/34 (29.4% SR) for 40.5pts (+119.1% ROI) over the past four years and this horse looked set for victory at Southwell last time before falling 4 from home after making all and bowling along nicely at the head of affairs.

He has been given 12 weeks to get over that incident and provided his confidence hasn't been shaken too much, he stands an excellent chance over a trip and ground conditions that seem to suit him best from past experience.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:

King Edmund / Blackwater King @ 8.90/1 (7/4 & 13/5 : Betbright)
King Edmund / Aye Well @ 9.31/1 (7/4 & 11/4 : Paddy Power)
Krakatoa King / Blackwater King @ 9.80/1 (2/1 & 13/5 : Betbright)
Krakatoa King / Aye Well @ 9.95/1 (2/1 & 53/20 : Betbright)

The Skelton boys...

The Skelton boys...

Sunday supplement

by Tony Stafford

Where were you on New Year’s Day? The magical (for many) moment when the year turns has never meant much to me I’m afraid, but this time we enjoyed a nice domestic glass of Prosecco before I tucked in around one leaving Mrs S to continue her customary more lavish celebration alone.

That rather Spartan approach was necessary as I needed to be at Heathrow for the flight to Edinburgh. That’s right, Adrakhan was in the first at Musselburgh, kick off 12.25 and apart from getting to the Scottish capital, there was the matter of making it from there to the track on the other (east) side of the city.

It was rainy and windy, but I was primed to take a taxi after arriving soon after nine and relax away the hours before the run.

Having had the luxury of a free seat next to me and a full(ish) English breakfast – bacon, sausage, the usual tasteless scrambled egg and tomato, along with two slices of white bread with butter and jam to adorn them.

Some turbulence early in the piece meant the tea or coffee had to wait, but they did arrive a little later. Good start on balance.

The post flight portion was surprisingly successful, too. Outside the terminal, the first vision was of a bus suggesting it was an express service to the town centre. The man in the kiosk situated obligingly adjacent to the bus stand confirmed its status saying “it’s just about the only thing running at the moment”. So I bought the ticket – silly not to - and within minutes we were off and running.

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The early morning precipitation precluded any view of the outside, but a screen displaying a line of forthcoming stops, including Edinburgh Zoo and Murrayfield Stadium kept us slightly better informed.

Within half an hour, not only had we got to the centre, but the driver even had the kindness to impart the vital information “if you go down there, turn right and go to the bus stop on the left, there’s a 26 not far behind me and it’ll take you to Musselburgh”. It was and quite promptly it did.

Good place, Scotland, and nice people, or “canny folks” I think you have to say, or maybe better think to yourself, when you’re up there.

It was soon time to admire the handsome beast in the paddock and I must say I expected the Dan Skelton four-year-old to make the frame. He looked great beforehand and until the home turn, my ambitions for Ray Tooth’s French import were intact. Disappointingly, as the leading quartet quickened as they do at Musselburgh on the home bend, he got a little bit becalmed towards the outside, but stayed on again into fifth.

Dan didn’t seem to mind too much – “he’s handicapped now and we’ll see what he gets next week”. At this point I must impart some news. Dan is certainly among the new breed of trainers. He is great with publicity and very decisive in his running plans. Not for him the practice of keeping owners waiting. Plans are made and usually adhered to and jockey arrangements are also set well ahead of time.

His other area of innovation arrived on my screen last night. It was, I believe, a first issue of what they call the Shelford Echo, Lodge Hill’s extravagant newsletter displayed in the form of seven pages of type with pictures, features, information about the stable’s horses and some of its personalities – this week’s featured staff member likes Arsenal FC – and this month, a detailed article (with illustrations) of some of the wind issues that afflict racehorses.

The standard will be hard to maintain, but as I said before, this is a stable that is seriously going places. Dan and brother Harry, who had a nasty old fall on Shelford at Sandown yesterday possibly aggravating his ongoing collarbone travails, have had a thorough equestrian grounding from their dad Nick, the great show jumping champion over many years. They’re very nice people, too.

The journey home was less of a picnic. The cab that the lady in the office dutifully arranged as requested was there as I left the track, but the driver asked me to wait as he was “collecting” a jockey. He told me “they said you didn’t mind sharing”. It wasn’t until that point that I thought of saying the magic words, “how much?” to which he replied, “double fare today, £90!”

My response was a face-losing “---- that” and with the rain coming down with renewed vigour, I trudged off towards the haven of the bus stop. It wasn’t until I got to the stage of re-telling the tale to friends the following day that I pretended to have had the wit and savoir faire to tell him, “no, not to Heathrow, to Edinburgh”. They laughed, but they will be reading this and see I’ve already broken my resolution in 2015 not to tell lies to make me seem less reprehensible a person.

I won’t fully detail the contrasting anxiety of the trip home, dozens of people getting on to the express on Waverly Bridge, all with massive bags, then on arrival at the airport and the chaos of a new system in security where it seems it’s not much more than even money that as you go through the “ping” doorway, your tray of belongings to be scanned disappears into the “random search” line and out of your sight. Considering mine contained just a raincoat, belt and phone it seemed an odd choice. Luckily in the ten minutes it took to locate and reclaim it, my trousers did not fall down.

Of course, I got to the gate after the cut-off point, but was relieved that everyone was still there, laughingly joined a few minutes later by the crew, let down by their driver (presumably negotiating double fare?) as they waited in vain at the hotel,. That’s the real Hogmanay. No hot food on the trip home, nobody had been there to turn on the oven, just crisps and a million people all crammed together.

The Heathrow mid-air queue, 30 minutes after the pilot told the crew “ten minutes to landing” and we were down, or in the case of Arsenal, out, and also as I was soon to learn Chelsea. “Good old Spurs and Harry Kane”, am I really saying that?

All of which explains why I didn’t fancy the drive to Ffos Las the next day, even though April Dusk was due to make his debut in the two and a half mile hurdle. Well if you didn’t see it, I have to say I have never been more delighted when a horse whose well-being is partly my business, was beaten on debut.

This was a defeat in name only. Confronted by an experienced Tony McCoy-ridden favourite from the brilliant Rebecca Curtis stable, as well as two wide-margin Welsh-trained bumper winners and fellow hurdles newcomers, April Dusk finished so well that as Timeform avers, he would have won in another 20 yards.

Recommended by Guy Anstey, Warren Greatrex’s travelling head lad whom I got to know when he was at Manton, Ray was offered the once-raced Irish point winner in the summer. So he’s already a winner over fences (fastest time of the day) over three miles in the mud and on this evidence, he looks equally adept at the smaller obstacles – can I see an Albert Bartlett Hurdle on the horizon?

Timeform have given him 123p for the run, yet all the Racing Post could find to say about the race was that that this was a “novice hurdle lacking depth”, presumably because the extended distances were 14 lengths, 12 and 13.

The day before, the experienced Emily Weber, analysing the race, described the winner, second and the two bumper horses as a promising quartet that the other trio would struggle to match, indeed the third home had been rated an “exciting prospect” when he won his bumper for Peter Bowen’s stable.  I know which of the two, April Dusk or the “highly-progressive” winner I would want to back next time. Go team Tooth!

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 1st January 2015

There was no winning end to 2014, I'm afraid, as we had the runner-up in both races with both races being won by an unfancied outsider.

Heavenly Brook went down by half a length to 14/1 shot Golden  Ticket, with Federici a further 5.75 lengths back in fourth place at Punchestown, whilst we had 2nd and 3rd at Lingfield, with Plasir and Free One separated by just a head behind the shock 66/1 winner Evo Campo (400/1 on betfair!) who swooped late to win by three parts of a length.

That's how it goes sometimes, I'm afraid, we were very close to a 21/1 double, but actually ended up with no winners! I suppose that I did, at least have the consolation of a place return from my E/W bet on Heavenly Brook.

I also took a look back at this blog from last New Year's Day to see how we had progressed and quite strangely, I noticed we'd backed Federici that day too, as he won at Tramore to be our first winner of 2014.

In 2014, we found 343 winners from 1206 selections (28.44% SR), we had 108 winning days from 309 (34.95% SR) and our yearly profits of 72.47pts gave us an ROI of 11.7% overall.

Wednesday's results were as follows:

Heavenly Brook: u/p at 11/2 (adv 7/1)
Federici: u/p at 5/6 (adv 2/1)
------------------------------------------
Plasir: 2nd at 5/4 (adv 7/4)
Free One: 3rd at 7/4 (adv 7/4)

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Results to date:
448 winning selections from 1562 = 28.68%
141 winning bets in 405 days = 34.81%

Stakes: 809.50pts
Returns: 897.42pts

P/L : +87.92pts (+10.86% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

Our first selections of the New Year are as follows...

12.25 Musselburgh:

Where my usual practice in these types of races is to pick one with racecourse experience and one without. El Beau comes here with a 2/2 record to date over hurdles and he'll be ridden by the very capable and in-form (3 wins & 3 places from 8 last week) James Reveley.

El Beau was a course and distance winner on his hurdling debut in November and backed it up with a good win at Sedgefield five weeks ago. He was decent on the Flat, so ground speed shouldn't be an issue in his bid to land his hat-trick at 9/4 BOG.

John Ferguson's Galizzi looks a massive threat though here at 5/2 BOG. John is brilliant at getting ex-Flat horses to win over hurdles first time out and his runners are 9/28 (7/22 over hurdles) here at Musselburgh.

Galizzi stayed 1m 6f on the flat and was rated at 90 (El Beau only reached 76) in the autumn. He's exactly the typr this trainer does well with and with his jockey claiming 7lbs here, he's effectively carrying 17lbs less than his main rival.

*

2.25 Fakenham:

Dr Newland's horses seem to be running into some form of late and Aficionado was a winner last time out on his debut for the yard and was more comfortable in victory than the official margin of 2.25 lengths would suggest. He's up 7lb and one class from that run, but he looked to have plenty in reserve last time, possibly hitting the front a little too soon, having idled once the race was won.

The good doctor could and should get a bit more out of this one and Aficionado looks to have a decent chance to follow up here at 9/4 BOG.

My second selection here is the 4/1 BOG Minstrels Gallery who, after three starts over hurdles, is still unexposed in this sphere. He has shown plenty of promise already, making the frame in each of his last two starts for Lucy Wadham, who looks like her horses are on the rise again with a 58% place strike rate in the last month.

She also possesses a near-22% strike rate at this track, whilst jockey Leighton Aspell also rides well here, as well as being 20/108 (18.5% SR) for 25.9pts (+24% ROI) on all Lucy's hurdlers over the last three years.

4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:

El Beau / Aficionado @ 9.56/1 (9/4 & 9/4 : Bet365, Betfair SB & Paddy Power)
El Beau / Minstrels Gallery @ 15.25/1 (9/4 & 4/1 : BetFred, Betfair SB & Totesport)
Galizzi / Aficionado @ 10.38/1 (5/2 & 9/4 : Bet365, Betfair SB & Paddy Power)
Galizzi / Minstrels Gallery @ 16.50/1 (5/2 & 4/1 : Betfair SB, BetFred, BetVictor & Totesport)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 11th October 2014

We're absolutely nothing here at Geegeez, if we can't be open and honest with our readers, so in that spirit, I have to hold my hands up and admit that I dropped the ball yesterday!

I made a massive error of judgment and let my own personal thoughts/hopes affect my decision making process and it meant we had another losing day.

Quite simply, I'd got my two races and I'd done the write-up for the 4.50 Carlisle (where Robins Command won again and at a nice price) and was about to advise taking the top two in the market in a Listed race at Dundalk (7.10pm), when I spotted Taquin Du Seuil reappearing at Newton Abbot and was mentally sidetracked, due to my liking of the horse.

Of course, that race at Newton Abbot was far too competitive and should have been avoided like the plague and Taquin could only manage 3rd place with my other selection beaten by three lengths into second. It goes without saying that the second favourite won at Dundalk and a 14/1 double was missed.

Friday's results were as follows:

Colour Squadron: 2nd at 13/8 (adv 9/4)
Taquin du Seuil: 3rd at 7/2 (adv 9/4)
------------------------------------------
Robins Command: won at 4/1 (adv 100/30)
Final Assault: 3rd at 9/4 (adv 9/4)

Results to date:
370 winning selections from 1311 = 28.22%
119 winning bets in 341 days = 34.90%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 681.50pts
Returns: 729.31pts

P/L : +47.81pts (+7.02% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

I've had several technical difficutlies this morning, that I won't bore you with, but hopefully these will have been worth waiting for, after I've avoided going with the 5.05 Newmarket where even my current form would get the right two horses!

4.50 Musselburgh:

You could make a case for several of these here, but the horse in form is Chesil Beach, who has progressed really nicely in handicap company since landing a seller at Lingfield back in June. 8 handicap runs and a form line reading 65332111 put her on top of her game coming here today chasing a 4-timer. She's up 7lbs, but the manner of her last two wins suggests this shouldn't inconvenience her too much.

The trip shouldn't be an issue with wins at 12f, 17.5f and 2 miles, whilst she has also won four of five starts in small fields of 7 runners or less. I'd be surprised if she's involved at the finish and could be a nice payout at 5/2 BOG.

I felt that the best idea of a backup plan would be to go with Swivel at 11/2 BOG, as he offers far more value than Altaayil who always seems to find one (or more!) just a little too good for him (82222) and was beaten in a maiden three grades lower last time out.

Swivel, however, comes here off the back of a win at Haydock over today's trip and at this Class 2 standard and this contest doesn't look quite as competitive as that Haydock encounter. He doesn't always produce the goods in consecutive outings, which is possibly a reason behind his longer odds, but if he does produce anything like that last effort, we could have an interesting battle late on with Chesil Beach.

*

7.20 Wolverhampton:

Three of the seven expected to run here have already made their debuts (it was 5 from 9, before 2 non-runners) with four starting for the first time. I'm going to split the race into those two groupings and take one from each set.

Of those with a run (or more than one!), the 2/1 BOG favourite Illogical clearly sets the standard after showing nice progression in three maidens to date. She has finished 432 in those races and was only beaten by three parts of a length last time out (Haydock, two weeks ago). Trainer Ed Dunlop now switches her from the turf to a first run on the A/W, a tactic that has served him well in the past and one I think will work again today.

Of the newcomers, I like the look of Magical Effect who can currently be backed at 7/2 BOG. This horse was the 180,000 Guineas first foal out of Purple Glow, who despite being lightly raced (just 7 runs) was a winner over today's 6f trip before suffering a narrow (beaten by a neck) defeat in Listed class and then finished 6th of 18 in a Group 2 contest at Ascot.

He's by New Approach (5/8 at group 1 level and 5/5 over 7f, so speed should be present) who has produced several winners in A/W sprints and Magical Effect's trainer Charlie Appleby has an impressive 21% strike rate with two year olds.

4 x 0.5pt doubles as follows:

Chesil Beach / Illogical @ 9.50/1 (5/2 & 2/1 : SkyBet)
Chesil Beach / Magical Effect @ 14.75/1 (5/2 & 7/2 : Betfair Sportsbook)
Swivel / Illogical @ 18.50/1 (11/2 & 2/1 : Stan James)
Swivel / Magical Effect @ 28.25/1 (11/2 & 7/2: Stan James)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 15th September 2014

Lady Bingo ran pretty well on her big step up in trip and was only headed close to the two pole. She didn't have the finishing speed of the two horses to pass her and was a little one-paced on the run in.

She did, however, stick to the task in hand and stayed on to take third place and this represents her best run to date and there's likely to be more to come from her.

Today represents the mid-point of the month, so I'm going to try and close out a very profitable first half with one in today's...

3.40 Musselburgh:

Where on a difficult day for finding relevant stats, I've sided with the 3yr old Right of Appeal at 5/1 BOG with Betfair Sportsbook.

Right of Appeal is trained by Mark Johnston...

Whose record here at Musselburgh since 2008 is decent enough to attract attention with 57 winners from 298 runners at a strike rate of 19.1%, which in turn has generated level stakes profits of 55.4pts (+18.6% ROI).

Mark's three year olds have won 35 of 164 (21.3% SR) in that same time-frame and the corresponding 32.2pts profits are worth almost 20p in the pound to investors.

He's running in an open age handicap...

Which, of course, means he gets a hefty 9lbs allowance under the weight for age scheme. I've mentioned this a few times of late, as its something that crops up quite a bit at this stage of the season, but no other trainer seems to get it as right as Mark Johnston does, especially over the longer trips, where the allowances are greater.

Since 2008, in these open age handicaps over trips of 12 to 16 furlongs, his 3 yr olds have won 69 of 296 attempts (+23.3% SR) with profits accrued of 55.4pts, or 18.6% ROI. Despite this being fairly common knowledge, his runners don't seem to be overbet, as an odds restriction of 2/1 to 8/1 is still very profitable.

In that smaller odds window, Mark had 36 winners from 148 (24.3% SR) for 69.6pts (+47% ROI), so following the money isn't a bad call here.

Our horse was sired by Dubawi...

Whose offspring are generally profitable to follow. His progeny have a combined 2958 runs between them since Curtains was 3rd at Brighton in late April 2009 and the 493 winners gives a healthy strike rate of 16.7% to date with level stakes profits of 533.7pts providing an ROI of 18.1%.

Those figures are excellent over such a large sample size, but we can narrow down to good effect (of course!  😀 )

3 yr olds have a record of 230/1221 (18.8% SR) for 538.7pts (+44.1% ROI),
whilst those competing at 1m4f to 2 miles inclusive have won 102 of 464 (22% SR) races with a 56.2% ROI derived from the returned profits of 260.8pts.

Which brings us to Dubawi 3 yr olds running between 1m4f and 2m, where 41 of 169 (24.3% SR) were victorious, producing 188.6pts profits at an ROI of 111.6%.

Right of Appeal lost his way over the late summer after some good runs earlier in the year, but showed plenty of signs of a return to form over this trip last time out. He attempted to make all but was rather swamped late on, losing 4 places inside the final furlong for a 3-length defeat. The winner of that race stepped up in class and won again next time out and our runner gets to runs off the same mark again today.

In a race littered with claiming jockeys attempting to reduce the weight burden, the 9lb allowance we're getting means that experienced pro Franny Norton can take the ride and his know-how could make all the difference here today.

If he's allowed to dominate and dictate the pace, I feel he could be a tough nut to crack this time around and I'm happy to be backing Right of Appeal at 5/1 BOG with Betfair Sportsbook. Other bookies are, of course, available and those already "open" here are generally offering 4/1 to 9/2, as can be seen when you...

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Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 13th June 2014

Another day of near misses and what ifs on Thursday, I'm afraid. In what is becoming a very frustrating tale of woe, we were beaten into second place in both races yesterday, as firstly Global Leader was beaten by just half a length, before Merchant of Medici made the frame without winning for the fourth race on the bounce, going down by just a nose despite leading well into the final furlong.

Thursday's results were as follows:

Global Leader: 2nd at 5/4 (adv 9/4)
Putin: u/p at 12/1 (adv 6/1)
---------------------------------
Merchant of Medici: 2nd at 3/1 (adv 7/2)
Call of Duty: u/p at 4/1 (adv 4/1)

Results to date:
254 winning selections from 921 = 27.58%
80 winning bets in 240 days = 33.33%

Stakes: 478.00pts
Returns: 505.63pts

Your first 30 days for just £1

P/L : +27.63pts (+5.78% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

Here are my selections for Friday...

3.25 Musselburgh:

The ground was too soft for Just Paul at Catterick three weeks ago when well beaten off today's mark of 81, which was a 5lb rise from his previous run, a C&D victoty here at Musselburgh, where his form is sensational at 1211 with all 3 wins coming over course and distance (2nd was over a mile) and he's currently a 9/2 BOG chance to extend that run.

All his six career wins and his best form has come on ground no worse than good to soft, so conditions are ideal for him here today and with Joey Haynes claiming 5lbs today, he's effectively back to the same winning mark from two starts ago, when he won by the best parts fo two lengths, despite being denied a clear run and had to be switched in and out a couple of times.

Best of Order is also of interest here, as his UK form line of 814 doesn't even begin to tell the full story. This 7yr old has run over 40 times now and last year had finishes of 2421 in france, so he came over here with some decent form behind him. The ground was far too quick on his UK debut at Newmarket last July, but he reappeared at Doncaster 32 days ago after a break of 303 days to win over today's trip on heavy ground, which would surely have provided a stiff test of stamina.

He ran again 19 days later (13 days ago) and was fourth at York, beaten by less than three lengths in a much stronger race than this one and on similar good to soft ground as we're seeing today. He's only the second runner from that York to run again, after Balty Boys (5 lengths behind) ran and won at Nottingham nine days ago, beating a 105-rated horse in the process. If fully wound up for this, he could be a big player at 7/2 BOG.

*

7.35 Aintree:

In the last month AP McCoy has ridden nine times for John Ferguson recording three victories and three runner-up finishes and they team up here with the classy Dubai Prince who is already proving a hit over hurdles, winning three times from six efforts and who comes here seeking a hat-trick.

The going is set to be good today and his natural pace between obstacles will be a vital asset this evening. He won five of his seven starts on the flat, including two group 3 contests. He has a couple of good ground wins to his name and is 3 from 3 at Class 3 level. He's up in the weights and is now rated 134, but could still be leniently treated based on his flat form and I fancy him to take this at 3/1 BOG with BetVictor.

I would expect Minella Reception to be the main threat at 100/30 BOG (also with BetVictor). His form this year reads 1321 and was a comfortable winner last time out at Southwell when making all and quickening away late on ten days ago. He carries a 7lb penalty for that win, but is still a further 4lbs ahead of the assessor and if allowed to dictate affairs again today, he could cause problems for Dubai Prince.

He's a versatile sort, who has won on both heavy and Good to Firm ground and won three times and placed three times from 11 starts in and around today's trip.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Best of Order / Dubai Prince @ 17/1 (7/2 & 3/1 : BetVictor)
Best of Order / Minella Reception @ 18.50/1 (7/2 & 10/3 : BetVictor)
Just Paul / Dubai Prince @ 21/1 (9/2 & 3/1 : BetVictor)
Just Paul / Minella Reception @ 22.83/1 (9/2 & 10/3 : BetVictor)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 18th April 2014

The only thing I got right on Thursday was the finishing order of my selections! Both first choices finished ahead of the alternate picks, but third and fourth places in each race was the best I could muster.

Thankfully, days like this are rare, so there's no point dwelling on it and we'll move on sharply!

Thursday's results were as follows:

Baby Shine: 3rd at 15/8 (adv 2/1)
Tempest River: 4th at 15/8 (adv 7/2)
---------------------------------
Expose: 3rd at 3/1 (adv 9/4)
Waseem Faris: 4th at 4/1 (adv 7/2)

Results to date:
213 winning selections from 743 = 28.66%
70 winning bets in 194 days = 36.08%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 384pts
Returns: 444.91pts

P/L : +60.91pts (+15.86% ROI)

REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS

Not much to go at today and the Lingfield card is very competitive, so we'll head North...

2.40 Musselburgh:

With the likely non-appearance of Kingsgate Choice, the official ratings say that Heeraat and Morawij are the best two horses here and I find little to disagree with there.

Heeraat is likely to go off as favourite and currently trades at around the 15/8 BOG mark and should be fresh for this after a break of over six months since last running at Ascot. He acquitted himself well that day finishing 4th in a large field Group 3 contest and has run well in several other races at a higher level than today. He has a record of 3 wins and 3 places from 8 starts at this Class 2 level, but does have some Listed form and he also won a Group 3 race at Newbury last summer.

I see Heeraat as the likely winner, despite the break and the burden of top weight. The most likely challenger is the afore-mentioned Morawij, currently a 7/2 BOG chance with Coral and he's no mug either. His first four races including a Class 5 maiden victory on debut, a win in a Listed race at Sandown and a narrow (head) defeat in a Group 3 contest at Goodwood.

He landed another Listed contest at Sandown last summer and was a good third in another Group 3 event at The Curragh on his last start. He's had a lengthy break from racing of almost 10 months, but he runs to anything like what he's capable of, this could be a very interesting shoot-out indeed.

6.00 Musselburgh:

Naburn stayed on well to win at Catterick nine days ago and the presence of a 5lb claimer in the saddle almost negates his 6lb penalty for that win, meaning he's poised to go close once more. He might well require a career best performance to land this, but he's in good heart from that recent win and in truth, this looks a weaker affair than the Catterick race. One positive stat we have is that the jockey Mr O R L Sangster is 4/4 when riding for Alan Swinbank! You can back Naburn at 3/1 BOG.

Often, in these Amateur Riders' race, the booking of the jockey is crucial, as a more talented amateur will get more out of a horse than might be expected. Cue Serena Brotherton, who is one of the better amateurs around and has a 4/9 record in these types of races this year. Today she partners the 11yr old veteran Categorical, better known nowadays as a chaser and who was a Class 3 winner over 2m4f at Newcastle just six weeks ago.

Categorical hasn't run on the flat since appearing at Redcar six months ago, but a winter jumps campaign will have kept him fit and he has won once and finished second twice in hos last four runs at today's 1m6f trip, including a short-head defeat here over course and distance when beaten by La Bacouetteuse, who went on to win another couple of races. Categorical certainly won't be found lacking in stamina and looks a decent bet at 11/4 BOG.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Heeraat / Categorical @ 9.78/1 (15/8 & 11/4 : BetVictor)
Heeraat / Naburn @ 10.50/1 (15/8 & 3/1 : BetVictor)
Morawij / Categorical @ 14/1 (3/1 & 11/4 : BetVictor)
Morawij / Naburn @ 15/1 (3/1 & 3/1 : BetVictor)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 18th April 2014

Jason Hart gave Barkston Ash the perfect ride yesterday to land a nice 9/2 winner for us.

He hit the front from the start and made all to score by just over a length. He was pressed inside the final furlong by the Fahey-trained favourite, but found more when needed to secure a fairly comfortable victory.

The icing on the cake was the extra half point we grabbed above the 4/1 SP.

We have Good Friday racing for the first time and we're off to the...

3.50 Musselburgh:

And William Haggas' handicap debutant Bilimbi, who despite running from a pound outside the handicap, is currently positioned as the 9/2 BOG favourite for this one.

Bilimbi was last seen 171 days ago when winning a 7f maiden at Yarmouth and steps up to a mile for his first crack in handicap company.

The step up in trip isn't a major issue to me, as over the last six years William Haggas has stepped 100 horses up in trip for their handicap debut and 28 of the 100 (28% SR) have gone on to win, recording level stakes profits of 45.02pts in the process.

If we focus on those runners that have been priced more in line with SotD selections ie 13/8 to 7/1, we get 25 winners from 65 runners, a 38.5% strike rate yielding a massive 56.32pts (+86.65% ROI) profits. Last year alone, these runners were 7/12 for 23.3pts!

I'm also not unduly concerned about the horse's 171 day absence either, as over the same six-year period as above, the record of William Haggas' runners priced below 7/1 returning from a break of over 5 months since a win or a runner-up finish last time out is 11 wins from 35.

I accept that it's not the biggest sample size I've ever quoted, but a 31.4% strike rate shouldn't be dismissed as irrelevant, nor should the 32.3% ROI achieved via the 11.3pts profit either. And as a secondary stat, it supports the main selection well, especially if you consider that the trainer has a 44% strike rate at this track (11 wins from 44) and the resultant 16pts profit is equivalent to 64% of stakes invested.

Bilimbi was impressively progressive last season, despite seeming bred for further than he was asked to travel and the extra furlong will not only suit him, it will probably only be a stepping stone to longer distances in the future.

His opening handicap mark of 80 looks quite lenient and I think he'll give a good account of himself here, hence a 1pt win bet at 9/2 BOG. I've gone with SkyBet, but the same is offer in other places, as you'll see when you...

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Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 24th February 2014

The latest in a string of decent-priced winners was to no avail yesterday, for Cadeau George's excellent 6/1 victory in a 3 mile slog on heavy ground counted for nothing in the end.

That's because both Willie Mullins' runners had been turned over at Naas 10 minutes earlier. City Slicker was very disappointing back in last of the six runners, some 23 lengths off the winner, whilst the best we could get was the runner-up berth claimed by Vicky De L'Oasis.

She had nothing to give late on and went down by three lengths.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Vicky De L'Oasis: 2nd at 13/8 (adv 5/2)
City Slicker: last of 6 at 9/4 (adv 5/2)
---------------------------------
Cadeau George: won at 6/1 (adv 9/2)
Join The Clan: PU at 4/5! (adv 6/5)

Your first 30 days for just £1

Results to date:
163 winning selections from 566 = 28.80%
55 winning bets in 150 days = 36.67%

Stakes: 296.00pts
Returns: 347.63pts

P/L : +51.63pts (+17.44% ROI)

So, we have now reached 150 days' worth of selections and I'm really pleased with both the strike rate and the profitability achieved to date. But, there's no resting on laurels here at geegeez, I now have to crack on and kickstart the next 150 with these!

2.50 Musselburgh:

Moonlight Maggie went down by just a head two starts ago and was travelling really well and looking like putting in a big performance last time out, before a fall three from home. She looks a lot better than an 80-rated chaser to me and with her usual 5lb claimer on board today, she's getting chunks of weight from most of her rivals. She'll not struggle iwht the soft ground underfoot either, as both those last two runs were on soft or heavy ground, and she'll encounter both here today and this looks a good chance to break her duck at 9/4 BOG.

Another who loves the mud is Dingo Bay, whose record at this level and on heavy ground has to make him a big player at 4/1 BOG here. He's 3 from 3 on heavy ground, 2 from 3 over this trip and has three wins and a place from four runs at Class 5 level. he comes here in decent nick, having won three from his last five races and should be there or thereabouts once again today.

*

4.00 Wolverhampton:

Last Monday, I backed Doldrums at 5/1 on Stat of the Day, courtesy of the trainer's record here at Wolverhampton, the jockey's record over the longer trips and the horse's own record at the track. Doldrums was second last time out, meaning a losing bet for me, but the reasoning behind the selection (full details here) was still valid and she could very well go one better in a weaker-looking race here today. It is a weaker contest and the defection of English Summer has weakened it further, meaning the current best price on offer is 9/4 BOG with Bet365.

Doldrums does however sometimes find one too good for her (just like last week) and at 9/2 BOG, Fantasy King represents both value and real danger here. He makes his debut for his new yard today and has the benefit of the experienced Tom Queally on board for his first run in the UK. He comes off the back of a decent winter hurdling campaign with a win and to narrow defeats in his last three contests, but he also has some good past form on the level.

6 placed finishes (inc 2 wins) from 12 runs on turf/All-Weather suggest the drop down in trip shouldn't inconvenience him too much here. He has won over 1m6f and has two decent runner-up finishes at 11 and 12 furlongs, so if he fires first time out, he could well land a bit of a surprise. I suppose the fear is that he'll need the run, but that is reflected in that 9/2 BOG pricetag

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Moonlight Maggie / Doldrums @ 9.56/1 (9/4 & 9/4 : Bet365)
Moonlight Maggie / Fantasy King @ 16.88/1 (9/4 & 9/2 : BetFred)
Dingo Bay / Doldrums @ 14/1 (4/1 & 2/1 : BetVictor, SkyBet & PP)
Dingo Bay / Fantasy King @ 26.50/1 (4/1 & 9/2 : Stan James)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 24th February 2014

It was a 6 lengths defeat for Proud Times to round off an indifferent week for SotD (see the weekly update for more details), as he seemed to fade considerably in the closing stages.

Perhaps, the simple explanation is that this was a step too far for him, attempting a fifth win in six races that has seen him step up in class and added 25lbs to his OR. The bottom line is that he's probably in the grasp of the assessor now and might need to be left alone for a while.

North of the Border today for the...

3.50 Musselburgh:

Where my selection is the Donald McCain-trained King's Grace is a 3/1 BOG shot with Bet365.

Musselburgh is a happy hunting ground for the McCain team with 27 winners from their 99 runners here since the start of 2010. This 27.3% strike rate has yielded level stakes profits of 42.8pts in that, a figure equal to 43.2% of stakes.

As is normally the case, Jason Maguire takes the ride today and he's got a record of 23/75 (30.7% SR) on the McCain horses here at this track. The profits aren't as spectacular, but an 11% (via 8.25pts profit) return from blind backing a well-known partnership isn't horrific either.

That 11% can be improved by not backing those horses sent off at double-digit odds, nor those running below 13/8. You do pretty much halve the number of winners down to 12 (from 46 runners) and this also reduces the strike rate down to 26.1%, but the level stakes profits of 18.9pts represent a return of  over 41% and the ROI has to be the most important consideration from these.

Jason Maguire actually rides four horses for Mr McCain here today, so which should we back? Well, on the face of it, all four look to have a good chance, but I want to take a look at the McCain horses running in Novice Chases here in Scotland.

In the last 6 years, the yard has enjoyed continued success in Class 3 to 5 Novice Chases at Ayr, Kelso, Musselburgh and Perth. There aren't many of these runners each year, but a record of 18 winners from 41 such runners (SR of 43.9%) is impressive and has produced level stakes profits of 34.6pts to date: an ROI of some 84.4%.

From the above 41 runners:
16/33 for 24.5pts at 6/1 or under
4/9 for 8.73pts here at Musselburgh
15/33 for 29.13pts with Jason Maguire on board.

You could, of course, perm the above stats into a very small subsection of profitable rides, but I'm sure you get the picture.

As for King's Grace himself, he's a consistent sort and made the frame in all but one of his six races last year (232P31) and has run further than today's three miles in the past. He will relish the soft conditions underfoot, as he has a record of 16121 on soft ground.

So, it's a 1pt win bet on King's Grace at 3/1 BOG with Bet365 today, but as always feel free to...

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Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 12th February 2014

The month of February has been very kind to us so far and yesterday's double took our tally to seven successes in the first eleven days of the month. The current run is actually 9 from 13 for 32.64pts profit.

Yesterday was a milestone day for us, as we notched up our 50th success and getting 14.75/1 about a pair of 2/1 shot once highlighted the benefits of using the BOG bookies.

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Arr Kid: won at 2/1 (adv 5/2)
Outrageous Request: 3rd at 5/2 (adv 7/2)
---------------------------------
Too Cool To Fool: won at 2/1 (adv 7/2)
Mumgos Debut: PU at 9/2 (adv 3/1)

Results to date:
148 winning selections from 518 = 28.40%
50 winning bets in 138 days = 36.23%

Your first 30 days for just £1

Stakes: 272.00pts
Returns: 304.68pts

P/L : +32.68pts (+12.01% ROI)

We've lost both Chepstow & Clonmel from today's multinational programme, but there's still plenty to aim at from England & Scotland, including these:

4.25 Musselburgh:

It's over 14 months since we last saw Golan Way on a racecourse, but if he can run to anything like his past form, this race is here for him to take. Last seen finishing 3rd at Sandown 4 grades higher than today, just 2.5 lengths behind the winner off a mark of 147, he comes here to run off 135, which has got to help his cause. He has won 8 out of 22 NH races to date, including victories at Grade 2 and Listed class.

I don't expect him to scale those heights again, but any sign of his past ability should be enough here. This is a shorter trip than he normally prefers, but as a reintroduction to racing could prove perfect, hence his current odds of 5/4 BOG (BetVictor). He has moved to Tim Vaughan's yard during his absence and Tim has a 35% strike rate in these hunter events.

Yet, I still prefer the look of Habbie Simpson for this one and he can be backed at a generally available 9/4 BOG. A very useful Group standard hurdler who got quite close to Bob's Worth on a couple of occasions and has made a decent start to life as a chaser, finishing 2nd in his first two attempts , within a length of the winner on both occasions. He broke his duck in a similar contest to today's when winning by 11 lengths at Wetherby last time out and can take advantage of any rustiness the favourite might display here.

*

7.15 Kempton:

The favourite and generally perceived most likely winner of this Class 4 contest is the 3/1 shot Brocklebank, who comes here on the back of an impressive run to finish just a length behind Alfred Hutchinson over this trip at Lingfield 19 days ago. That was a much better Class 2 event and although he's now rated a pound higher for that run, the dropping down by 2 grades suggests a similar run should be more than enough. He has won 3 times over this trip in the past, but his 0/6 record here at Kempton means that my preferred option is...

...Light from Mars who won this race a year ago off a mark 3lbs higher than today. He's a really consistent sort who has won 6 of 26 races over today's trip and was last seen here finishing 2nd here at Kempton 12 days ago. That was over an inadequate 6f, but he was only beaten by three parts of a length and he was finishing strongest of all, suggesting that the step back to 7f is required.

He's up 2lbs for that run, but today's mark of 81 is no higher than his last victory, so we knows it's a level he can be competitive from. Coral currently offer 5/1 BOG about him recording a third C&D victory, having won off 80 & 84 around this time last year, and I think that might be a huge price come race time.

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles, as follows:
Golan Way / Brocklebank @ 8/1 (5/4 & 3/1 : BetVictor)
Golan Way / Light from Mars @ 12.20/1 (6/5 & 5/1 : Coral)
Habbie Simpson / Brocklebank @ 12/1 
(9/4 & 3/1 : BetVictor)
Habbie Simpson / Light from Mars @ 18.5/1 (9/4 & 5/1 : Coral)

Double Dutch

Double Dutch

Double Dutch, 2nd February 2014

Winners at 9/4 and 5/2 aren't generally going to make you rich, but they did combine to give us a nice 10.38/1 double yesterday, as both Saphir du Rheu and No Planning  justified being my first picks and gave us our third successful double in a row.

I also mooted the possibility of the forecast in the first race and with only a head separating our two selections, the 4.86/1 return was a good investment.

Those two were 19 lengths clear of their nearest challenger, Grand Vision, a horse I also mentioned in my write-up. The trifecta paid 9.20/1, but I'd be gilding the lily if I said I'd backed that too!

Yesterday's results were as follows:

Saphir du Rheu: won at 2/1 (adv 9/4)
Whisper: 2nd at 6/4  (adv 9/4)
---------------------------------
No Planning: won at 6/4 (adv 5/2)
Ice n Easy: 4th at 85/40 (adv 2/1)

Your first 30 days for just £1

Results to date:
135 winning selections from 479 = 28.18%
44 winning doubles in 128 days = 34.38%

Stakes: 254.00pts
Returns: 263.14pts

P/L : +9.14pts (+3.60% ROI)

Looking for four in a row today with the following:

2.00 Musselburgh:

Venetia Williams's horses are really flying at present with a 7 from 15 record in the last week alone and four winners from seven yesterday! She saddles up the 6/4 favourite Upepito here who is using this race as a stepping stone to the Champion/Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. This 6 yr old has some good form in France winning two bumpers and an 2m2f chase on very soft ground.

He faded late into his UK debut at Market Rasen (2m2f, heavy) after travelling well for most of the race, but he was entitled to have needed the run after a break of some 496 days. He'll come on for that last run 17 days ago and dropped in trip looks a real contender here.

Donald McCain won this race a couple of years ago and has a 29% strike rate at this track and has Kie entered for this one. He's a consistent sort with 4 wins and 5 places from 15 races. He's 3/9 over this trip and has a record of 121 over course and distance. All of which makes him a solid backup bet at 5/1 (Ladbrokes & Hills)

*

3.50 Kempton:

During a 7 races in 9 months period, Star in the Sky dropped 24lbs in the ratings and put that drop to good effect when romping home at Southwell three days ago. She is turned back out under a 6lb penalty, but her 5lb claiming jockey can see to most of that for her and anything like a similar run will be more than enough here today and she can currently be backed at 5/2 BOG in most places.

Hamis Al Bin has been running well of late, despite having very little luck with the draw, often running from nearer the car park than the inside rail. Placed in each of his last three races despite not getting the best of the early pace. And although he's out wide once again today, he'll get the benefit of being alongside the favourite today, who likes to get out to the front very quickly. If he gets towed along, he could prove to be a big danger at 100/30 (BetVictor & SkyBet)

4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows:
Upepito / Star in the Sky @ 7.75/1 (6/4 & 5/2 : SkyBet, Coral & PP)
Upepito / Hamis Al Bin @ 9.83/1 (6/4 & 10/3 : SkyBet & BetVictor)
Kie / Star in the Sky @ 20/1 (5/1 & 5/2 : Ladbrokes)
Kie / Hamis Al Bin @ 23/1 (5/1 & 3/1 : Ladbrokes)

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day

Stat of the Day, 2nd February 2014

Take The Lead was another big drifter yesterday as our advised 11/2 shot was eventually sent off at 10/1. The market was ultimately proved right, as she put in a disappointing performance to finish a distant last of eight runners.

The way she folded so tamely with over a furlong a to run suggested to me there might be something wrong with her, for although she wasn't the best horse in the race, but she was never 10 lengths worse than the 7th placed horse and a 25-lengths defeat in such a short race couldn't have been forecast.

Our second chance to get off the mark for the month comes from North of the Border in the...

2.30 Musselburgh

Trainer Gordon Elliott has an excellent record here at Musselburgh, albeit from a fairly small number of runners. The fact that he doesn't race many here always alerts me when I see one his horses amongst the declarations.

The reason behind this is very simple: ten winners from thirty six runners is a 27.8% strike rate and if you'd put a tenner on each of those runners, your £360 bank would now stand at £476.20, an increase of 32.3%. As I said, he doesn't have many runners here, but they do go well. Those 36 runners are spread over the last seven years and his results over the last couple of years here reads 161311 for 8.06pts profit.

If we focus solely on his runners competing at 10/1 or under, we can eliminate 15 of the 26 losing bets, leaving us with a record of 10/21 ( 47.6% SR) for 16.6pts (+79.1% ROI) profit (11311 in the last two years for 9.06pts).

Just the one runner here today for Gordon and that's the consistent 4yr old Clarcam, who was last seen finishing second in an Irish Grade 2 contest at Leopardstown on Boxing Day which took his career form line to 22132.

Clarcam will be ridden by Jason Maguire today, who also has an excellent record here at Musselburgh with 31 winners from 104 rides in the last six years, that 29.8% strike rate producing 38.5pts (+37% ROI) profits. Jason has ridden 6 winners and made the frame on a further occasions from just just ten rides for Gordon Elliott here at this track.

He always seems to be there or thereabouts and whilst this is a stiff assignment under a weight penalty, he seeks to capture a race won by Gordon Elliott's last entry back in 2010. It's an eight runner field, meaning three places, so it's a safety-first 0.5pts E/W bet on Clarcam today. The best price is 13/2 BOG with Stan James, but for all the current prices...

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