Alan King looks well placed for a big race double today at Ascot with Smad Place and Balder Succes

Alan King and Robert “Choc” Thornton have partnered up for many winners in the past and Crockford believes that Ascot we prove a successful hunting ground again today. Smad Place will be the favourite for the Long Walk Hurdle in the absence of the great Big Bucks. Some punters may be concerned by his third place in his first race this season and may look elsewhere towards the impressive Haydock winner Trustan Times. However, King was clear that his grey would come on from the race and should have the beating of his rivals this afternoon.

The Ladbroke Hurdle is an open contest according to the bookmakers with the favourites being marked up at 10/1 this morning. Crockford favours Thornton’s ride Balder Succes who should have the class to carry his allocated weight and will not be phased by the heavy conditions. Henderson’s former chaser and treble seeking Petit Robin may prove to be the toughest opposition. However, there is a strong whisper that David Pipe’s Kazlian will run well at Ascot today.  Cash and Go and Olofi will also be on many punters short lists.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Barafundle (Haydock 3.25)

Fourth first time out in the valuable fixed brush hurdle, he will come on from the race. At 4/1 he will look a big price later this afternoon. With brilliant relations this potential star will show his family’s class in this 3m race.

Crockford’s Whisper – Balder Succes e/w (Ascot 3.10)

Brilliant novice last season and an emphatic winner last time out after finishing third to Zarkandar on his seasonal reappearance, Balder Succes has the class to defy his weight and the conditions. With this morning it being 10/1 the field an each way bet looks to bigger a value to miss. King and connections think a lot of this horse and he looks well placed to fight out the finish.

Archer selects Roberto Goldback

Archer’s selection – Roberto Goldback (Ascot 2.35)

Archer would not have missed the elan with which Roberto Goldback won at the course recently before going on to unseat his rider when travelling well in the Hennessy. Henderson has worked his magic on this one and there is certainly going to be more to come from him.

Crockford’s other gambles around the courses:

Ascot – Smad Place (2.00), Roberto Goldback (2.35) and Balder Succes e/w, Petit Robin e/w and Kazlian e/w (3.10)

Haydock – She Ranks Me (1.10), Hollow Tree (1.45), Cannington Brook (2.15), Kudu Country (2.50) and Barafundle (3.25)

Lingfield – Yarroom (12.20) and Be Perfect (2.25)

Wolverhampton – Irish Heartbeat (2.05) and Lastkingofscotland (4.20)


(Featured Photograph – Alan King and Robert “Choc” Thornton at Chepstow by Stuart Rice)