Another good day yesterday as winners at 6/4 (adv 3/1) and 9/4 (adv 10/3) combined for a 16.33/1 BOG double and our fourth win in six days. The BOG part of the double is key, as betting at SP only returned 7.125/1, some 56% lower than advised odds. That's real money you can't afford to leave on the table.
As for the races, I expected Al's Memory to shade the opener ahead of Pacolita, the market agreed and the winner was well backed. Pacolita just about held on for second to secure a 4.3/1 bonus exacta for us.
Then some fiove hours later, over the water, the two best in at the weights finished first and third and as the longer of my two picks, Zylan, triumphed, our returns were maximised here.
Friday's results were as follows:
Al's Memory : WON at 6/4 (adv 3/1)
Pacolita : 2nd at 5/2 (adv 5/2)
The Exacta paid £5.30 here
Zylan : WON at 9/4 (adv 10/3)
Strategic Force : 3rd at 2/1 (adv 2/1)
Results to date:
784 winning selections from 2800 = 28.00%
244 winning bets in 725 days = 33.66%
P/L : +91.40pts (+6.31% ROI)
Isaacstown Lad has been a revelation since a switch to Nicky Richards' yard last spring. Previously 0 from 6, he finished 6th of 12 on yard debut, needing the run after 164 days off the track and since that day has won four of his five starts. All four wins have come under today's jockey, he loves the mud and has won over this trip (Kelso, November). In this recent run, he is 3 from 3 running within a month of his last outing and at around 7/2 BOG, connections will be looking for more prize money.
His main rival, Arctic Gold is available as long as 9/2 BOG with Coral and comes here seeking a four-timer, after winning three of his four hurdle starts to date. His latest effort was a comfortable 5 length victory on heavy ground at Ludlow 12 days ago, stepped up considerably in trip for his handicap debut. He's clearly progressive and still unexposed and could still be ahead of the assessor and should go well once again here today for a yard with a good record at this track.
There may well be 13 runners declared for this one, but both myself and the market think it will be a two-horse contest between Rolling Rocket (7/2 BOG) and Mount Brandon (also 7/2 BOG). the pair last raced when finishing 1st and 2nd in very similar conditions to today at Punchestown on New Year's Eve with Rolling Rocket prevailing by three quarters of a length on that occasion, overhauling Mount Brandon deep into the final furlong.
Rolling Rocket is a former course and distance winner, having triumphed here two starts ago, but if pushed I'd probably plump for Mount Brandon to avenge that recent defeat, now that he's not only 1lb better off at the weights, but has enlisted the servies of Barry Geraghty for this rematch. No disrespect intended to Philip Enright, but I think Barry might just eke a bit more out of his mount.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Isaacstown Lad / Mount Brandon @ 19.25/1 (7/2 & 7/2 : BetVictor)
Isaacstown Lad / Rolling Rocket @ 19.25/1 (7/2 & 7/2 : Betfred & Totesport)
Arctic Gold / Mount Brandon @ 22.8/1 (9/2 & 10/3 : Coral)
Arctic Gold / Rolling Rocket @ 22.83/1 (9/2 & 10/3 : Coral)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS