Crockford’s first day Dead Cert Hurricane Fly WON at 13/8 and Crockford’s Whisper Tullamore Dew was placed at 33/1. Can Crockford follow up on day two of the Cheltenham Festival?
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The second day of the Festival opens up with one of its oldest races, The National Hunt Chase now named the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase in memory of the legendary rider, broadcaster and charity fundraiser; Lord Oaksey. Once the centrepiece of the original festival this year’s renewal is both an exciting showcase of future talent and a competitive contest. The Irish again have a strong hand with the likes of Back In Focus and Tofino Bay. Crockford favours Tofino Bay with Nina Carberry on board. He was impressive in his Troytown win earlier this season and beat the highly regarded Aupcharlie last time out. From the home offering Godsmejudge is a strong contender with the outsider Our Island being overpriced as he stays all day, which will be needed on the ground for this 4m contest.
The Neptune sees the clash of two big reputations in Pont Alexandre and The New One. Pont Aexandre is Mullins’ best for the Festival and The New One is one of the best Nigel Twiston-Davies has ever trained, according to the respective yards. Henderson’s Chatterbox remains unbeaten, with the run of My Tent Or Yours yesterday giving that form another boost.
Unioniste has shown a liking for both the course and conditions and is due to run well again today in the RSA. Sprinter Sacre must be the banker of the meeting and looks unassailable unless Sizing Europe can get him off the bridle. The Coral Cup is as hot a race as ever with the classy novice Pendra making a lot of appeal to Crockford. Cash and Go with should go well too at a good each way price. John Ferguson is strongly represented in the Fred Winter with Ruacana the Chepstow winner looking value at double figure odds. The final race of the day The Champion Bumper is an excellent renewal which sees the champion flat jockeys O’Brien and Hughes make an appearance at the Festival.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Sgt Reckless (Champion Bumper 5.15)
With the masterful Richard Hughes booked and the very strong whispers that have surrounded this horse, he cannot be overlooked. The Champion Bumper is always a strong race but the confidence behind Sgt Reckless makes him a Dead Cert.
Crockford’s Whisper – Tofino Bay e/w (National Hunt 1.30)
Having competed at a high level and beaten seasoned handicapers well this Dessie Hughes challenger has caught Crockford’s eye. He will stay all day and will have no problem with the conditions. With Nina Carberry up he has excellent each way claims at least.
Crockford’s day two gambles:
National Hunt (1.30) – Tofino Bay e/w and Our Island e/w
Neptune Novices (2.05) – Pont Alexandre and Chatterbox e/w
RSA Chase (2.40) – Unioniste
Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.20) – Sprinter Sacre
Coral Cup (4.00) – Pendra e/w and Cash and Go e/w
Fred Winter (4.40) – Ruacana e/w
Champion Bumper (5.15) – Sgt Reckless
(Featured Photograph – Chatterbox and Barry Gerraghty at Newbury by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – Richard Hughes heads to the Weighing Room at Goodwood by Stuart Rice)