This National will join those which is not forgotten – but this time for joy and sadness. The classy grey Neptune Collonges stormed home for Nicholls winning him his first National and he has now been retired at the zenith of his career.
However, Crockford’s thoughts are with the O’Neil team who not only were collared on the line by Neptune Collonges but who sadly lost their Gold Cup hero who bowed out for the final time with Jefferson’s Accordingtopete.
The weeks to come will be dominated by reflections on this renewal.
Out of the fifteen finishers eight were among the ten to follow given by Crockford:
Neptune Collonges – 1st 33/1
Seabass – 3rd 8/1
Cappa Bleu – 4th 16/1
Ballabriggs – 6th
Planet of Sound – 12th
Calgary Bay – 14th
Weird Al – Fell 4 out
Becauseicouldntsee – Fell 8th
Black Apalachi – Fell 8th
Organisedconfusion – Fell 8th
Crockford’s dead cert Ballabriggs chances were made pay for due to a series of poor jumps and an anchoring weight.
Here are how Crockford’s other gambles faired yesterday –
Lingfield – 2.30 Royal Peculiar (3rd 5/1), 3.05 Talwar (1st 10/11) and 5.45 Prohibition (2nd 6/1)
Newcastle – 5.00 Trade Commissioner (NR)
Wolverhampton – 8.45 Alkadi (unplaced) and 9.15 Ring for Baileys (2nd 6/5)
Chepstow – 2.35 Ulch Du Lin (2nd 2/1), 3.45 Minella Stars (unplaced), 4.50 Round the Horn (unplaced) and 5.50 Tarquinius (3rd 15/2)
Aintree – 1.45 Aland Islands (unplaced), 2.15 Sprinter Sacre (1st 1/7), 2.50 Thousand Stars (2nd 7/1), 3.25 Cannington Brook (unplaced), 4.15 Ballabriggs (unplaced) and 5.05 Dee Ee Williams (unplaced)