Double Dutch, 4th January 2016
On Friday, we had a winner and a third place, missing out on a double by two lengths. Saturday proved to be simialrly frustrating, as we combined a winner with a runner to finish just a length and three quarters shy of landing a 12.13/1 success.
Saturday's results were as follows:
Kinsgley Klarion : 2nd at 5/2 (adv 5/2)
Hall of Beauty : 4th at 4/1 (adv 9/4)
Vivacissimo : WON at 5/2 (adv 11/4)
Roxyfet : 4th at 2/1 (adv 5/2)
Results to date:
770 winning selections from 2758 = 27.92%
240 winning bets in 714 days = 33.61%
P/L : +78.04pts (+5.47% ROI)
REMINDER: THERE IS NO DOUBLE DUTCH ON SUNDAYS
The Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs angle is always one to be aware of and with 7 winners and 8 placers from 30 runners here at Ludlow over the last five years, that alone has to put Ink Master in with a shout of success here at 100/30 BOG. He ran far too freely on his only chase start to date, finishing 6th ast Ascot 17 days ago, but you can be sure the team will have been working hard with him since then.
He also wasn't helped by an early mistake that day either, but those things can be excused on a debut and a 2lb drop in weight should assist here. Both jockey and trainer are in good recent form individually and as a partnership and with the yard's last 10 winners coming from just 22 runners (45.5% SR), it's not too far fetched to expect a good run from Ink Master here.
I do, however, expect that he'll be playing second fiddle to Cloonacool, a 136-rated and Listed class winning hurdler, who made a decent fist of his own chasing debut at Plumpton three weeks ago. He was second home that day, five lengths behind the promising Regal Encore, who will probably end up contesting Graded races over fences this year, should he progress as expected.
Hitting the last fence didn't help Cloonacool's chances that day and without that he could well have finished a little closer to the winner, but even as it stands, that was a good effort against a decent sort. He's sure to come on for having that run and will no doubt be well fancied at 9/4 BOG, but I think that if both my picks complete the course, there shouldn't be too much between them with Cloonacool giving Ink Master 15lbs in testing conditions.
Getting a horse around a 3 mile chase course in testing conditions is no mean feat and in these Conditionals/Amateurs events, you want a jockey with something about them and a quick glance at the riders here makes Harry Cobden's name stand out. A winner already of 13 from 63 starts (20.6% SR) for 70.7pts (+112.3% ROI), he comes here in good form having won twice and placed three times in his last six outings (31P312).
He also has the benefit of riding the 2/1 BOG Magical Man, a horse who gets this trip well enough and likes the soft ground underfoot. Last seen finishing as a runner-up at Southwell, beaten by four lengths in very similar circumstances to today, he has seen both the winner and third placed horse (8 lengths back) both reappear to win, suggesting that success for Magical Man wouldn't be out of turn here.
Salut Honore, however, will ensure he doesn't get it all his own way and despite losing both starts this season, he has run well enough with mitigating circumstances behind a pair of third-placed efforts. He was 3rd of 9 at Towcester on Bonfire Day over 2m 5.5f on soft ground, when he ran off a mark of 88, less a 3lb claim and will have needed the run after an absence of over 600 days.
He then reappeared 38 days later (22 days ago), effectively another pound higher off 86 and was 3rd of 8, but only beaten by 5 lengths over 3m 1.5f on heavy ground at Southwell when he struggled to see out the closing stages. The going isn't as tough today, he drops back in trip and with Luke Watson taking 5lbs off a mark of 84, Saint Honore is effectively half a stone better off, making him of interest at 4/1 BOG.
4 x 0.5pt BOG doubles as follows...
Cloonacool / Magical Man @ 8.75/1 (9/4 & 2/1 : Betbright, Ladbrokes & Paddy Power)
Cloonacool / Salut Honore @ 15.25/1 (9/4 & 4/1 : Betway)
Ink Master / Magical Man @ 12/1 (10/3 & 2/1 : Ladbrokes & Paddy Power)
Ink Master / Salut Honore @ 20.67/1 (10/3 & 4/1 : Betway)