In the prelude to what promises to be a fantastic week ahead at Royal Ascot today’s cards throw up some competitive handicaps. Obviously we will not see the standard of Frankel or Black Caviar on course today but progressive classy types such as Pearl Secret (3.25 Sandown) are bound to still catch the eye.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Pindar (2.10 Bath)
Barney Curley has a way of bringing horses back to form and landing the gamble for punters. This lightly raced horse was off for four years before his reappearance at Yarmouth on bad ground last month. The race, the better ground and a touch of the Curley magic make this a horse not to miss. Crockford does warn though to watch the betting.

Crockford’s Whisper – Pea Shooter (3.10 York)
Impressive last year more could have been expected this year from this horse in handicaps. The whisper this morning is that Amy Ryan is still sweet on her mount and has confidence that she will reach the frame with this outsider for her father at a big price.

Crockford’s other gambles around the courses:

Hexham – Three White Socks (2.25), Ormus (3.35) and Well Green (4.35)
Bath РPindar (2.10) and Rebel Magic (2.40)
Sandown – Pearl Secret (3.25) and Checkpoint (5.00)
York – Crackentorp (2.05), Barren Brook (2.35), Pea Shooter (3.10 e/w) and Jo’Burg (4.15 e/w)
Lingfield – Puteri Nur Laila (6.35) and Don Libre (9.05)