Crockford has selected his Dead Cert and Whispers for the Grand National 2013.
The pundits and punters may well be concentrating on the Walsh family to provide them with a winner for the Grand National but Crockford believes it is the Twiston-Davies family that will win the prize. Imperial Commander is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies who has already won the Grand National twice and will be ridden by his son Sam. If Imperial Commander can win today he will be the first horse since 1975 to win both the Gold Cup and Grand National.
Crockford gives his review of his leading fancies for the Grand National (prices from stanjames.com)
Imperial Commander – 16/1 – The 2010 Gold Cup winner was gallant in defeat at Cheltenham in January.His trainer is confident of his star horse’s chances saying recently to the media that he is “three stone well in on his best form”. The quality horse of the race who jumps for fun and if anywhere near his best will win easily. Only one concern will be the recent setback that stopped him running in this year’s Gold Cup last month. (DEAD CERT)
Teaforthree – 12/1 – Winner of the four mile National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival 2012 and second in the Coral Welsh National in January this Welsh horse has an outstanding chance of being the first since 1905 to claim the race for Wales . Trained on the Pembrokeshire sands by his brilliant trainer Rebecca Curtis this race has always been his aim. Only concern is his lacklustre run last time at Haydock. (Whisper e/w)
Chicago Grey – 11/1 – This classy grey has had this in mind since being brought down in the race last year. On a very low weight with the brilliant Paul Carberry riding he will creep into the race from the back of the field. Gordon Elliott is a shrewd trainer and knows what it takes to win the race. Only concern is that his racing style may well get him into trouble with horses falling in front of him like last year. (Whisper e/w)
Quel Esprit – 50/1 – This Irish grey for top trainer Willie Mullins has excellent form in the book. He is a much overlooked horse who the trainer fancies to perform well at Aintree. Expect a big run from a horse that has beaten horses that are more favoured than him in the betting. Only concern could be his jumping. (Whisper e/w)
Roberto Goldback – 22/1 – Impressive winner at Ascot and had a good career in Ireland before joining Nicky Henderson’s yard this year. Purchased with the National in mind his jockey Barry Gerraghty is very sweet on his chances. Nicky Henderson had a great day yesterday at Aintree and this just might be his first Grand National winner. Only concern is the weight he is carrying. (Whisper e/w)
Saint Are – 66/1 – Lively outsider who comes alive when he gets to Aintree. The seven-year old will love the ground and will probably take to the National fences too. Tim Vaughan has a lot of confidence in this Welsh horse. Only concern will be his age and stamina to stay the distance. (Whisper e/w)
Forpadydeplasterer – 66/1 – A brilliant two-mile chaser who has served it up to the best horses around over the last few years. There used to be an adage that said- what you need is a good jumping two and a half miler to win the National – this horse would fit that bill perfectly. Only concern would be that he has been in and out of form of late. (Whisper e/w)
For more about other Dark Horses and Outsiders at big prices with a chance in the Grand National take a look at yesterday’s post Grand National 2013: Crockford’s Dark Horses & Outsiders.
Crockford’s prediction of the first five in the Grand National 2013:
1 IMPERIAL COMMANDER (DEAD CERT)
3 CHICAGO GREY
4 QUEL ESPRIT
5 ROBERTO GOLDBACK
(Featured photograph – Imperial Commander at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)