As the roar goes up on the first day of the 2012 Festival will the Irish be cheering home two returning  Mullin’s champions? Hurricane Fly looked awesome in his last race and is probably close to value at 10/11 for the Champion Hurdle and with Quevega  not having to face Unaccompanied she should land the Mares Hurdle again.

So what to add to the Irish bankers on day one – well how about a licence to print money in the form of Henderson and McCoy’s Quantitativeeasing in the (2.40) quoted at 13/2 stands as an interesting wager. That combination should also land the first race in the form of Darlan.

Crockford’s Dead Cert: Darlan (Supreme Novices 1.30)
Henderson/McCoy/McManus should start the festival with a win. Darlan looked good until falling when going well on his last start and should resume his winning ways tomorrow.

Crockford’s Whisper: Hunt Ball (Pulteney 5.15)
Constantly on the upgrade all season Hunt Ball stands an excellent chance of landing this valuable prize for trainer Burke and at around 7/1 looks a banker of achieving at least a place.

Crockford’s first day Festival gambles:

Neptune (1.30) – Darlan and Prospect Wells (e/w)
Arkle (2.05) – Al Ferof
JLT (2.40) – Quantitativeeasing
Champion (3.20) – Hurricane Fly, Zarkander (e/w), Overturn (e/w) and Zaidpour (e/w)
Cross Country (4.00) – Scotsirish, Garde Champetre (e/w) and Dancing Tornado (e/w)
David Nicholson Mares (4.40) – Quevega and Shop DJ (e/w)
Pulteney (5.15) – Hunt Ball (e/w) and Battle Group (e/w)