With the Cheltenham Festival now over punters attentions turn to the Grand National 2013. Gordon Elliott’s leading Grand National Whisper Chicago Grey is set to show his credentials today at Down Royal

Chicago Grey quoted at 18/1 for the Grand National with Paddy Power takes on a small group of seasoned rivals at Down Royal in preparation for the Aintree marathon. A winner last time out his main danger today will come from former Mullins horse Allee Garde and his  fellow stablemate Tarquinius. The grey is sure to be nursed round today before a big run in the National in April.

At Uttoxeter, The BetFred Midlands Grand National will also provide clues to the Aintree centrepiece but Crockford is not convinced that any horse taking its chances today will figure at all in the Grand National finish.

Next Saturday the flat season will be in full swing with the running of the Lincoln at Doncaster. The Winter Derby and listed supporting races provide an excellent appetiser for the season ahead. The Group 3 Winter Derby sees an interesting clash between the highly regarded Marco Botti trained Faraaj and the veteran Group winner Premio LocoPremio Loco won the race last year and looks well positioned to follow up. Bear Behind travels back from racing in Dubai to take his place in the Hever Sprint (2.20).

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Seebright (Ffos Las 2.30) 

Seebright will be in the winners enclosure again today

A good winner at Chepstow in a bumper and then again when first tackling hurdles. This highly regarded Victor Dartnall horse will put his recent fall behind him and get back to his winning ways at Ffos Las this afternoon.

Crockford’s Whisper – Bear Behind e/w (Lingfield 2.20)

This sprinter has had a very interesting preparation for this race by running three times in Dubai. With good previous form in the book and value available still each way at 10/1, Crockford expects a big show from this Whisper.

Archer’s Selection – Chicago Grey (Down Royal 3.20)

Archer would have enjoyed a ride nursing this talented grey around the fences at Down Royal before picking up the prize money. Winning last time out this Elliott horse, like the yard. seems to be in rude health.

Follow Crockford today at Ffos Las via Twitter (@deadcerts). On Thursday Crockford gave twitter followers a 25/1 (Holywell) from the course at the Festival.

Crockford’s gambles around the courses:

Lingfield – Stentorian (1.45), Tarooq and Bear Behind e/w (2.20), Maxentius (2.55), Premio Loco (3.30), Grey Mirage (4.40) and The Tiger (5.15)

Uttoxeter – Kaylif Aramis (3.15), Rebecca’s Choice e/w (3.50) and Recway Lass e/w (5.30)

Kempton –  Lordofhouse (2.15), Shernando (3.25), Rajamand e/w (4.00), Open Hearted (4.35) and Crow Down (5.40)

Ffos Las – Castle Beach (1.55), Seebright (2.30), Full of Joy (3.05), Scoter Fontaine (3.40), Makethemostofnow (4.15) and Oscars Way e/w (5.25)

Down Royal – Shinrock Paddy (2.45), Chicago Grey (3.20) and Chasingshadows (3.25)

Limerick – Concrete and Clay e/w (4.05), Draco (5.05) and Angel Chorus (5.35)


(Featured photograph – Chicago Grey at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)

(Photograph – Seebright and Victor Dartnall at Chepstow by Stuart Rice)



Chicago Grey