Crockford warns all punters to place their Cheltenham Festival bets before prices tumble after the Cheltenham Trials are run today – Follow Crockford on course today on Twitter @deadcerts
With a card that resembles the quality of a day at the Cheltenham Festival itself there will be no shortage of clues to who the winners will be in March. Followers of the turf will be spoilt by the presence of a host of leading Festival Fancies with the likes of Sprinter Sacre, Grands Crus, Tidal Bay, Oscar Whiskey, The New One and Coneygree taking their chances.
The addition of the Victor Chandler Chase (rescheduled from Ascot last weekend) makes the card at Cheltenham probably the best outside of a festival in years. The Argento Chase (2.25) is packed full of quality with Grands Crus, Tidal Bay and Imperial Commander all set to do battle. The Cleeve Hurdle (3.35) will be a test of if Oscar Whiskey can truly stay three miles and throw himself in as the clear favourite for the World Hurdle at the Festival. Three of the best novices in the form of At Fishers Cross, Coneygree and awesome Warwick winner The New One will give a clear clue of a who is a possible champion when they clash in The Neptune Classic Novices Hurdle (3.00). And on any other Saturday the Murphy Group Chase (1.15) would be the big race of the day and has attracted the well thought of Bold Sir Brian to Cheltenham before a possible Festival return.
Leopardstown is hardly short of quality and Festival clues either with the running of the Arkle Chase at (1.45). The competitive Leopardstown Chase (2.45) and Boylesports Hurdle (3.20) make mouthwatering propositions for wagers too; especially with the highly regarded Hidden Cyclone making an appearance in the chase.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Bold Sir Brian (1.15 Cheltenham)
Lucinda Russell and her team think an awful lot of this horse and so they should. His recent wins have been more than impressive and the 2m5F chase should be well within his scope. Crockford believes that this is the best horse north of the border and one that can certainly show a clean pair of heels to his rivals before going on to even greater things. At around 11/2 he is excellent odds for a Dead Cert.
Crockford’s Whisper – Edeymi e/w (3.20 Leopardstown)
This 25/1 chance will slip under many punters radar but the whisper was there before his good win on the all weather at Dundalk that this race was in the trainers mind. A whisper like that is certainly worth listening to in what looks a race full of possible surprises.
Archer’s Selection – Oscar Whiskey (3.35 Cheltenham)
Archer would have been shrewd enough to know that his run in the World Hurdle was not his true showing. The tinman would have placed his faith in him despatching his rivals over the course of three miles tomorrow. His wins this year make him look as good as ever.
Crockford’s gambles around the courses:
Cheltenham – Bold Sir Brian and Poquelin e/w (1.15), William’s Wishes e/w (1.50), Grands Crus (2.25), The New One (3.00), Oscar Whiskey (3.35), Lord Of House e/w and Sadler’s Risk e/w (4.10)
Leopardstown – Oscars Well (1.45), Lord Windermere (2.15), Hidden Cyclone (2.45) and Edemyi e/w (3.20)
Lingfield – Full Swing (12.50), Jonnie Skull e/w (1.25), Beautiful Day (2.35) and Tinshu (3.10)
Wolverhampton – Tarooq (2.15) and Verse Of Love (3.25)
(Featured Photograph – Coneygree winning at Cheltenham in December 2013 by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – Grands Crus before the Paddy Power Gold Cup by Stuart Rice)