Punters have made Teaforthree the hot favourite for the rescheduled Coral Welsh National, but can he win for Welsh trainer Rebecca Curtis?
For weeks now Teaforthree has been the hot favourite for the showpiece stayers chase at Chepstow. His trainer the Newport based trainer Rebecca Curtis has targeted this race since the start of the season and probably even since his Cheltenham Festival victory. Curtis told ATR that the horse has now reached his peak and the conditions will suit at the Welsh track. Crockford can understand the punters confidence given these signs, but with odds as short as 3/1 he feels that there must be even more value elsewhere in the field.
Beyond the gallant Giles Cross who loves the course and would be a fairytale winner for Victor Dartnall after the season he has had, Crockford considers that Soll and Monbeg Dude present excellent each way value. Soll is well fancied by his connections and was travelling well in the Hennessy before blowing up. Monbeg Dude was a game winner at Cheltenham back in November in front of number of his rivals who meet him again today. David Pipe’s Sona Sasta was also a impressive recent winner who can not be easily written off. In what Crockford considers to be a more competitive race than markets suggest Teaforthree should be the first Welsh winner in many years but he will certainly have stiff challengers in Soll and Monbeg Dude.
Earlier on the card at Chepstow there looks to be a strong renewal of the Finale Juvenile Hurdle (1.35) in which Paul Nicholls is represented by an ex-French trained horse Caid Du Berlais. Being thrown straight into a Grade One his trainer must think a lot of the horse. The Tolworth Novice Hurdle at Sandown (2.25) will see the second run over hurdles of the useful flat performer Poet. John Francome’s horse is hard to handle but has an abundance of ability even if the form of his recent win was slightly let down by the second Veloce only finishing third yesterday at Musselburgh.
Follow Crockford on Twitter on course at Chepstow today (crockford@deadcerts)
Crockford’s Dead Cert – William’s Wishes (1.50 Sandown)
Evan William’s horse came back from a long break to win easily with the classy Champion Court back in second at Ascot. This horse is not adverse to putting a string of wins together and will continue to do so in this race this afternoon.
Crockford’s Whisper – Soll (3.20 Chepstow e/w)
Both the jockey (Mark Grant) and the trainer (Jo Hughes) have told ATR that they were impressed with his run in the Hennessy and are convinced that he will come on well from that. With Irish form in the conditions and his ability to stay Crockford is convinced that this whisper from the connections is one to follow with an each way wager at around 12/1.
Archer’s Selection – Gevrey Chambertin (2.05 Wincanton)
David Pipe held a number of engagements for this grey and has interesting chosen to give him his chance in this handicap at Wincanton. Archer would not have missed the trainer’s ability to place horses and would have been more than keen to take this ride on the game unbeaten hurdler.
Crockford’s gambles around the courses:
Chepstow – Arthurian Legend (1.00), Caid Du Berlais (1.35), Shoegazer (2.10), Teaforthree, Soll e/w and Monbeg Dude e/w (3.20) and Seebright (3.55)
Sandown – Une Artiste (12.45), William’s Wishes (1.50), Poet (2.25), Ronaldo Des Mottes e/w (3.00) and Fruity O’Rooney e/w (3.40)
Wincanton – Sammy’s Gone (12.55), Gevrey Chambertin (2.05) and Sulpius (3.15)
Cork – Blackstairmountain (12.10) and Mollydod (2.20)
Lingfield – Resplendent Alpha (11.50), Too Difficult (12.20) and Jonnie Skull e/w (1.25)
(Featured Photograph – AP McCoy and Rebecca Curtis by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – Monbeg Dude, Viking Blond and Bradley after the last at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)