Mark Johnston looks poised for a handicap double with his three year olds Heavy Metal and Greeley’s Love

Johnston has done well in the past with three year olds in valuable handicaps and looks ready for success again this afternoon at Newmarket and Chester. Last Saturday Greeley’s Love ran on to finish second at Epsom and squeezes in at the bottom of the handicap in the (3.20) at Chester. At Newmarket the Group Two winning Heavy Metal will look to put two disappointing runs behind him when he takes on his rivals in blinkers for the first time.

At Haydock the Germans will look to take three prizes with their raiders Nymphea (2.40), Amarillo (3.15) and Gracia Directa (3.50). Gracia Directa has won in England before and the connections of Amarillo are very confident of a big run from their horse. However, the three of them will face stiff opposition from the home trained talent.

Beyond the competitive flat cards on offer there is also a quality set of races over the jumps at Stratford this evening. Don Cantillon’s Odin in (7.15) has particularly caught the attention of Crockford, especially after his first run at Ffos Las.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Greeleys Love (Chester 3.20)

Johnston is a master of the handicap and will know what is takes to get this three year old to land a big prize. In good form last weekend he will be ready for this run. Progression looks to be a certainty.

Crockford’s Whisper – Heavy Metal e/w (Newmarket 2.55)

This Johnston sprinter may be against older seasoned rivals but he is a battler with class. A Group Two winner at Glorious Goodwood when beating highly fancied rivals he is head and shoulders above the field. At 25/1 or thereabouts surely the whisper should be respected with an each way investment.

Archer’s Selection – Langavat (Beverley 3.10)

The shrewd Archer would have seen that this horse may be awkward but is certainly talented. After his race at Goodwood this ride would have been a challenge that the master horseman would have taken.

Crockford’s gambles around the courses:

Haydock – Sun Central (2.05), Nymphea (2.40), Libranno e/w and Amarillo e/w (3.15), Gracia Directa (3.50) and Professor (4.25)

Newmarket – Musical Comedy (1.45), Ehtedaam (2.20), Heavy Metal e/w (2.55), No Heretic (3.30), Cry Pearl (4.05) and Maria’s Choice (5.15)

Chester – Greeley’s Love (3.20) and Kingscroft e/w (4.30)

Catterick – Gabrial’s Hope (2.25), Dream Cast (3.00) and Jeu De Roseau e/w (4.45)

Beverley – Langavat (3.10) and Maxentius (3.40)

Stratford – Odin (7.15), Anquetta (7.45) and Cape Express e/w (8.15)


(Featured Photograph – Mark Johnston at Newmarket by Stuart Rice)


Mark Johnston