Charlton Quest’s For More in Caulfield Cup

Trainer Roger Charlton will Quest For More in the Caulfield Cup with his talented stayer

Quest For More will be amongst three British raiders that have made the journey to Australia to contest the Group One feature. Charlton’s stayer is quoted at as high as 50/1 to take the race, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Snow Sky being much more fancied at around 15/2.  The Gold Cup hero Trip To Paris makes up the UK trio and is valued a 33/1 chance.

Quest For More has done nothing wrong this season and appears to have progressed with each run. With a strong pace almost guaranteed expect him to be thereabouts at the finish. However, it may be another foreign challenger that takes the prize in the form of the Japanese runner Fame Game.

(Featured Photograph – Roger Charlton by Stuart Rice)

 

QIPCO British Champions Day Ante Post: Litigant 12/1

Ebor winner Litigant is excellent QIPCO British Champions Day Ante Post value

The 2014 All Weather Championship hero and Ebor winner looks excellent value at 12/1 with BetVictor for the Group Two Long Distance Cup.

Unbeaten since 2013, the lightly raced stayer is well placed to continue his winning run in what seems to be a weaker renewal of the race.

If trainer Tuite’s stable-star makes the line up expect his price to shorten and for the horse to go close.

 

(Featured photograph – Litigant at All Weather Championship 2014 by Stuart Rice)

Expect Emotionless And Low Key Victories At Newmarket

Punters to expect Emotionless and Low Key victories in the feature races at Newmarket this afternoon

The Group One Dewhurst and the second leg of the autumn double the Betfred Cesarewitch make for a mouthwatering card for punters at Newmarket.

The Dewhurst (3.10) is certain to set the 2016 Classics markets alight when the highly regarded Air Force Blue and brilliant Emotionless clash to settle who is to be crowned champion two-year-old. O’Brien’s horse has done nothing wrong and has already picked Group One prizes. However, there seems to be something very special about the bloodless victories of Emotionless. Talk is that he is one of the best if not the best Godolphin have had in recent years. The colt’s victory over the classy Ibn Malik would suggest that is true.

The Cesarewitch (3.50) looks to be a vintage renewal with many of the great handicap plotters represented. The favourite Low Key was an impressive winner of the Trial a few weeks ago and punters should not overlook the confidence behind the horse from the stable. A low weight and talented Marquand onboard will see him go very close. There are dangers a many in the form of the Irish challengers (Quick Jack and Bayan to name a couple) and form the battalions of Sir Mark Prescott. Another to consider is the classy performer Oriental Fox for Mark Johnston who has done everything to suggest a bold show.

Chepstow’s inaugural Jumps Festival is a much welcomed innovation that will see the National Hunt season 2015/6 start with a bang this afternoon. With the big outfits sending out their teams expect the well respected Lanzarote winner Tea For Two to take the feature Silver Trophy in what is a competitive contest.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – EMOTIONLESS (NEWMARKET 3.10)

Emotionless was such a facile and impressive winner of the Champagne Stakes on St Leger Day that he had to enter everyone’s notebook. The colt is probably the best that Godolphin have had for sometime especially if he continues to improve and deliver on his work on the gallops. Expect a win and him to be favourite for the Guineas by 3.30.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – LOW KEY E/W (NEWMARKET 3.50)

Trainer David Pipe told ATR viewers this week that the horse was his best chance of a winner this weekend and with that confidence behind him he should not be overlooked. Good winner of the Trial and plenty more to come.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – A YEAR TO REMEMBER (LIMERICK 2.40)

Archer would not have missed that the talented Joseph O’Brien stays in Ireland for this ride. On his debut he was heavily backed but failed to deliver. However, the booking suggests more to come.

LUCKY CHANCER – KAREZAK E/W (CHEPSTOW 3.55)

This Lucky Chancer contested many of the big prizes in his division last season without being disgraced. A winner at the course he is worth a punt at big prices.

Crockford’s Betfred Cesarewitch Day Gambles:

Newmarket – Make Fast e/w (2.00), Beacon Rock (2.35), Emotionless (Dewhurst 3.10), Low Key e/w, Bayan e/w and Oriental Fox e/w (Cesarewitch 3.50) and Landofhopeandglory (4.25)

Chepstow – Altior (2.10), Regal Encore e/w (3.20), Karezak e/w (3.55),  The Liquidator e/w and Tea For Two e/w (4.30) and Sausalito Sunrise (5.05)

York – Persun e/w (1.45), Memorial Day (2.15), George Bowen e/w (3.25), Tadaawol (4.00), Navajo Chief e/w and Camagueyana e/w (5.10)

Hexham – Far From Defeat (1.50), Present Flight (2.25) and Miss MacNamara (4.10)

Limerick – A Year To Remember (2.40) and Tadaany e/w (3.45)

Fairyhouse – King Of The Picts (3.30)

(Featured photograph – Newmarket Rowley Mile by Stuart Rice)

Dutch Connection For Celebration Mile

Backers will hope for a Dutch Connection for Saturday’s Celebration Mile at Goodwood

The Lennox Stakes second and Royal Ascot winner Dutch Connection looks certain to get back to winning ways if he lines up in the Celebration Mile at his favoured Goodwood this Saturday.

At about 5/1 Ante Post with firms for the Grade Two feature, the three-year-old has the form and class to beat his highly touted rivals Kodi Bear and Richard Pankhurst.

A winner last year at Glorious Goodwood and the second to the classy Toormore at this year’s meeting shows his liking for the track. Connections can be confident of celebrating again this Saturday at the Sussex course.

 

(Featured Photograph – Dutch Connection at Glorious Goodwood 2014 by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2015: Candy Sweet On Limato In Commonwealth

Trainer Henry Candy is sweet on his flying machine Limato in the inaugural Commonwealth Cup

Henry Candy is confident of a big run for Limato in the inaugural running of the Group One Commonwealth Cup. The flying machine will relish the firm conditions and has form at the course. Only beaten when the conditions didn’t suit, Limato will have the pace to live with the likes of Tiggy Wiggy and the US raider Hootenanny. In what is a great race and a brilliant new initiative, punters would also be foolish to overlook Kool Kompany who has the class to be a contender too.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – ALOFT (QUEEN’S VASE 5.35)

Eye-catching entry from a horse who will be making his seasonal debut in race that is a mile more than he has raced before. Excellent form last year including a second in the Racing Post points to enough Moore and O’Brien winner.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – LAXFIELD ROAD E/W (ALBANY 2.30)

Dettori teams up with the brilliant Wesley Ward on this US challenger. Ward has a real knack in these contests, expect another bold show.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – FOUND (CORONATION 4.20)

Archer would have noticed the exceptional form of O’Brien and Moore. Given that purple patch he would have wanted to be on this talented filly.

LUCKY CHANCER – KOOL KOMPANY E/W (COMMONWEALTH CUP 3.40)

In what is a fascinating race, this Lucky Chancer seems to have been overlooked. With plenty of talent and speed, the Craven Stakes winner is worth a gamble at around 40/1.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Three:

Laxfield Road e/w and Back At The Ranch (Albany 2.30), Balios (King Edward VII 3.05), Hootenanny, Limato e/w and Kool Kompany e/w (Commonwealth Cup 3.40), Found (Coronation 4.20),  Azurite e/w (Duke Of Edinburgh 5.00) and Aloft (Queen’s Vase 5.35)

 

(Featured Photograph – Henry Candy at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2015: Golden Forgotten Rules Of Royal Ascot

Punters golden Forgotten Rules of Royal Ascot is to back a Dermot Weld horse for the feature race

With the master trainer having landed the gamble yesterday with the brilliant Free Eagle in the Prince Of Wales Stakes, punters should look no further than him repeating the feat with Forgotten Rules in the Gold Cup today.  Weld’s stayer may well want the ground softer but so will many of his rivals including the notably over-priced Tac De Boistron (who has the pick of the form). In what looks a weak renewal of the great race, Weld’s horse stands out. Expect him to be ready and for him to add to his previous Ascot success last autumn.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – TIME TEST (TERCENTENARY 3.05)

Good winner of the London Gold Cup at Newbury and has excellent form lines from last season. The horse he beat last time is the warm favourite for the last race on the card. Expect a win.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – TAC DE BOISTRON E/W (GOLD CUP 4.20)

This whisper has the pick of the form in the book and always travels impressively. He has attractive each way odds that make a gamble worthwhile even on a surface faster than preferred.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – KING OF ROOKS (NORFOLK 2.30)

Archer would have fought to be on this speedster. Highly regarded and an impressive winner of the National Stakes at Sandown where he beat the Coventry winner Buratino.

LUCKY CHANCER – ROTHERWICK E/W (BRITANNIA 5.00)

With some excellent form in the book, this Lucky Chancer is well over-priced at around 25/1. He chased the Derby second home in his last race and has a good form-line with yesterday’s Jersey winner Dutch Connection.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot Gambles on Day Three:

Pamona e/w and Gretchen e/w (Ribblesdale 3.40), Forgotten Rules (Gold Cup 4.20), Dissolution and Scottish e/w (King George V 5.35)

(Featured Photograph – Dermot Weld by Stuart Rice)

Royal Ascot 2015: Ward To Land Juvenile Double

US trainer Wesley Ward to land a juvenile double on the first day of Royal Ascot 2015

US trainer Wes Ward knows what it takes to win at Royal Ascot and has brought a strong team of ten over to this year’s Royal meeting. On day one he runs Finnegan (Coventry 3.05) and Ruby Notion (Windsor Castle 5.35), both with excellent chances in their respective contests. The trainer is sweet on the chances of his Coventry entry and it would not be a surprise if his filly could land the last on today’s card.

In the opening Group One of the meeting, the Queen Anne, the Hong Kong superstar Able Friend will take on the French Meydan winner Solow. Able Friend may be up against it facing the strong field that includes the 2014 Guineas victor Night Of Thunder and the useful Toormore.

Gleneagles will be a strong favourite for another Group One victory when he runs in the St James’s Palace, but may be given more to think about by the French challenger Make Believe.

Sole Power would be a popular winner if he can lift a third Kings’ Stand, in his way will be the talented Muthmir who is well fancied.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – FINNEGAN (COVENTRY 3.05)

US trainer Wesley Ward is confident in a bold show from this two-year-old. The handler knows what it takes to win at the Royal meeting and expect this to add to his already impressive tally of winners.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – RUBY NOTION E/W (WINDSOR CASTLE 5.35)

Talk is that this US filly is roughly on par with Ward’s previous winners. If that is the case the whispers surrounding the horse should be listened to.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – MUTHMIR (KING’S STAND 3.40)

Archer would have noted that the trainer doesn’t believe they have got to the bottom of this talented sprinter yet. With a good win in France latest and bundles of talent Archer would have been on board.

LUCKY CHANCER – SPIRIT QUARTZ E/W (KING’S STAND 3.40)

This group two winner has plenty of ability and was not far behind Muthmir on his last outing.  This Lucky Chancer has run into places in big races before and looks worth a gamble at odds of 50/1.

Crockford’s Royal Ascot gambles on day one:

Toormore e/w (Queen Anne 2.30), Finnegan (Coventry 3.05), Muthmir and Spirit Quartz e/w (Kings’s Stand 3.40), Gleneagles (St James’s Palace 4.20), Clondaw Warrior e/w (Ascot Stakes 5.00) and Ruby Notion e/w (Windsor Castle 5.35)

(Featured Photograph – Ascot by Stuart Rice)

Hughes To Steal Thunder In Lockinge on Toormore

Richard Hughes looks to steal thunder of his rivals in the Lockinge on board Toormore

The Champion jockey will partner Toormore in the Group One Lockinge at Newbury this afternoon, where he will face his stablemate and 2014 2000 Guineas hero Night Of Thunder. The Hannon pair look to have the prize at their mercy in what is a bumper renewal of the race that has attracted eighteen runners. Last year’s Craven Stakes winner feel short of some expectations last season but looks open to improvement this year. If Toormore takes the Lockinge he will establish himself as a real contender for top miler.

The Hannon colts will have to get the better of the useful Integral who is yet to claim a Group One against male rivals. If at her best she is certain to give the two four-year-olds something to think about.  At longer prices punters would be foolish to overlook Aljamaaheer who deserves to pick up a Group One contest.

Earlier in the afternoon Telescope will hope to win against what look to be lesser adversaries.

Beyond a possible win on Toormore, Hughes looks well placed for a successful afternoon with a handful of good chances with the likes of Elysian Flyer and Gibeon.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – TELESCOPE (NEWBURY 2.00)

The highly regarded colt should have no problem in adding to his winning tally when he takes on his rivals at Newbury this afternoon. The impressive 2014 Royal Ascot victor is a cut above the rest in this contest.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – REX IMPERATOR E/W (THIRSK 4.15)

This Stewards Cup winner is significantly down in grade and at a weight where he can certainly be dangerous. Trained now by the talented David O’Meara expect a bold show from this sprinter with real ability.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – TOORMORE (NEWBURY 3.45)

Archer would have noticed the confidence that the Champion jockey Hughes has shown in his mount. With that confidence surrounding the horse Archer would have wanted the ride.

LUCKY CHANCER – ALJAMAAHEER E/W (NEWBURY 3.45)

Just short of the very best, this Lucky Chancer is certainly worth a gamble in what looks to be an open renewal of the Lockinge. At 20/1 he is certainly an each way proposition.

Crockford’s Gambles on Saturday 16 May:

Newbury – Shalaa (1.25), Telescope (2.00), Elysian Flyer (2.35), Gibeon e/w (3.10), Toormore and Aljamaaheer e/w (Lockinge 3.45), GM Hopkins and Pastoral Player e/w (4.55)

Newmarket – Maid In Rio e/w (2.15), Tupi e/w (2.50) and Kibaar e/w (3.25)

Thirsk – Dawaa (1.55), Rex Imperator e/w (4.15), Barnet Fair e/w (4.50), Cinders And Ashes e/w (5.25) and Captain Dunne e/w (5.55)

Bangor – Monbeg Gold (2.55)

Stan James Champion Hurdle 2015: Faugheen The Machine?

Crockford considers if the red hot favourite Faugheen “the machine’ can win the Stan James Champion Hurdle 2015

With a tally of facile wins under his belt the red hot favourite for the Stan James Champion Hurdle Faugheen has been labelled a machine by his admirers. Chosen by Ruby Walsh over the former champion Hurricane Fly his supporters  have become ever more confident of victory.

However, it may not be that straightforward when the young pretender to the hurdling throne faces the likes of  his stablemate, The New One and Jezki in the feature on the first day of the Festival.

Artic Fire – The third of the string of the Mullins horses. He has improved all season and is a worthy entrant but only has place prospects at best.

Bertimont – Talented on his day but will have to improve a lot to be anywhere near contention in this field. Beaten twice already this season by The New One.

Faugheen – Unbeaten in all of his starts including a win in the Neptune at the Festival twelve months ago. The stable jockey has chosen this young pretender over a proven Champion. Highly regarded but question marks remain in terms of the form of his races and how he will behalf if brought off the bridle.

Hurricane Fly – This record-breaking Champion deserves more respect than many credit him with. Connections believe it to be a close match between him and Faugheen. With rain falling he may just have the conditions that he craves.

Jezki – Last year’s winner has been defeated three times this season by Hurricane Fly, but may just be closer now back at Cheltenham. Will not be far away at the finish.

Kitten Rock – Worthy of his place in this quality field. This five-year-old is improving but likely to be out of his depth at this grade.

The New One – Posted four wins this winter, with the last looking more workman-like than usual. Finished fast up the hill in 2014, but might just find a couple to good for him again.

Vaniteux – Highly regarded by connections but could only muster three seconds this season. Not Henderson’s best chance of a winner this week.

Crockford’s Stan James Champion Hurdle prediction:

1 HURRICANE FLY

2 JEZKI

3 FAUGHEEN

The old Champion to have one last hurrah at the Festival showing his has still got enough to beat his old rival Jezki and the young pretender Faugheen

 

(Featured Photograph – Faugheen at Cheltenham 2014 by Stuart Rice)

 

 

 

Sire De Grugy To Be Back On Track For Champion

Connections and backers of Sire De Grugy will hope that he is back on track for the Champion Chase when he runs at Chepstow

Connections of the impressive winner of last year’s Champion Chase will hope that his second outing of the season will be more successful than his first. A faller at Newbury after coming back from injury, the Moore horse looked short of his best. Quoted at 6/1 for the festival feature, Sire De Grugy will take this race at Chepstow in his stride. If he doesn’t perform again he is certain to drift for the two mile championship at the Festival.

Paul Nicholls looks double handed with Easter Day and Rocky Creek in the Betbright Chase at Kempton. Easter Day fell when going well last time and Rocky Creek certainly has the class to be a contender at this level even with his weight.

The Eider Chase at Newcastle could be dominated by the top two in the weights Wyck Hill who holds course form and Shotgun Paddy is due to win a race like this someday soon.

With the All Weather Championships a couple of months away, the card at Lingfield will see many of the Good Friday hopefuls making appearances including the 2014 Champions Grandeur and Alben Star.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – EASTER DAY (KEMPTON 3.45)

Fell three out when travelling exceptionally well at Cheltenham last month. The Nicholls will now be spot on for this valuable prize and is certain to go close.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – SOVEREIGN DEBT E/W (LINGFIELD 2.15)

This talented horse has Group One form in the book including a second in the Lockinge at Newbury. Now down in grade and having finished a close second at the course last time expect another bold show.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – SIRE DE GRUGY (CHEPSTOW 3.35)

Archer would have certainly have been keen to take the ride on the Champion two miler in this small field. Archer would have had faith that he would improve from his first outing.

Crockford’s Gambles on Saturday 21 February:

Kempton – All Yours (2.00), Melodic Rendezvous (2.35), Vago Collonges (3.10), Easter Day and Rocky Creek e/w (3.45)

Chepstow – Champagne Chaser e/w (1.55), Ashes House e/w (2.30), Albert Bridge (3.05), Sire De Grugy (3.35) and Katkeau e/w (4.10)

Lingfield – Alben Star (1.45),  Sovereign Debt e/w (2.15), Grandeur (3.25) and Fair Value (5.05)

Newcastle – Wakanda (1.50), Shotgun Paddy e/w and Wyck Hill e/w (2.55), Debdeddeb (4.05), Definite Dream (4.40) and Vintage Clouds (5.10)

Fairyhouse – Dogora (1.35), Spring Heeled (2.05) and Two Rockers e/w (2.40)

 

(Featured photograph – Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham 2014)