Followers of Trainer Evan Williams are tinging with excitement at the prospect of him claiming two Grade Ones at Sandown

Trainer Evan Williams heads to Sandown with two real prospects of claiming the Grade One Tingle Creek and Henry VIII Novice Chases.

William’s Wishes was once considered a  potential rival to Sprinter Sacre after winning at the course in 2012/13 season. Today he is outsider and appears to have been overlooked by the bookies and punters. Without either Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy in the race, the contest looks an open one that has the potential for a longer priced winner. The strongest rivals to the Williams horse are likely to be the classy Somersby and the progressive God’s Own.

Court Minstrel has taken two chases in style and comes to the Grade One Henry VIII Novice Chase with a live chance. The biggest danger to him will be the ground as he prefers a firmer surface.

On the supporting card the trainer also has the exciting King’s Odyssey (12.20) and the mare Prima Porta (1.20), who can certainly add to the trainers tally for the season.

At Aintree the two races over the National fences look competitive, with the Becher Chase being an excellent renewal. Both Across The Bay and Burton Port were unlucky in the National back in the spring and should make bolder shows today. Oscar Time and Saint Are have course form, with the former Grade One winning Saint Are thrown in at the weights.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – COURT MINSTREL (SANDOWN 1.50)

Court Minstrel easily has the best form over hurdles and has taken well to fences. Connections have high hopes for him over the season ahead, it is only the ground that would trouble this certainty. If he runs he wins.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – WILLIAM’S WISHES E/W (TINGLE CREEK – SANDOWN 3.00)

Once considered by bookmakers as one of the only horses that might challenge the mighty Sprinter Sacre for the Champion Chase, William’s Wishes has been slightly overlooked by them today. Freshened up by a run over hurdles behind The New One, expect him now to be bang there come the finish of this Grade One.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – HOLYWELL (AINTREE 2.40)

Archer would have recognised the ability of this Gold Cup fancy and would not have missed the form shown last spring. With a first run of the season under his belt, Holywell would be Archer’s ride.

Crockford’s Gambles on Saturday 6 December:

Sandown – King’s Odyssey (12.20), Blue Buttons (12.50), Prima Porta (1.20), Court Minstrel (1.50),  Amore Alato e/w (2.25) and Williams Wishes e/w (Tingle Creek 3.00)

Aintree – Area Fifty One (12.00), Our Mick e/w (1.00), Burton Port e/w, Oscar Time e/w, Saint Are e/w and Across The Bay e/w (Becher Chase 1.30), Dawalan e/w (2.05), Holywell (2.40) and Champion Court e/w (3.15)

Chepstow – One Track Mind (12.25), Binge Drinker (1.20), Audacious Plan (2.35) and Roalco De Farges e/w (3.10)

Wetherby – Missed Approach (12.10), Viva Colonia e/w (1.40), Jimmy Shan (2.50) and Bamako Du Chatelet (3.25)

Navan – Argentino (12.15), Antilope Du Seuil (1.15), Tammy’s Hill (1.45) and Blood Cotil (2.20)

 

(Featured Photograph – Evan Williams at Ffos Las by Stuart Rice)

Evan Williams