Wyck Hill and AP McCoy look a Dead Cert to claim victory in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton this afternoon

Having recently been purchased to run in the green and yellow hoops of JP McManus this progressive chaser has done nothing but impress connections this season. Beating the classy Katenko last time out at Ascot Wyck Hill looks well in at the weights today. The change to good ground conditions  should not hinder his progress and with AP McCoy taking the ride he will take all the beating. The Racing Plus Chase has been good hunting ground in the past for Nacarat another of today’s runners; who is looking for a potential treble in the race and his front running pace should help make the race a genuine test. Although Crockford believes that it is unlikely that the grey will figure in the finish of what may be his last outing. Greater threats to Wyck Hill will come from the useful Rolling Aces, the novice Same Difference and Nicky Henderson’s Roberto Goldback who will benefit from the faster conditions.

The hurdling debut of two of Nicky Henderson’s runners at Kempton today has caught Crockford’s eye; Courtesy Call (2.05) and Black Spirit (3.15). Both were very useful on the flat and it looks that their belated debuts may be due to the ground conditions of late. With Festival entries punters are advised to risk a little wager each way on these two who could be anything.

Fairyhouse hosts two good novice hurdling contests which look sure to be dominated by Mullins’ horses and what be considered one of the best Grand National trials in the form of the Bobbyjo Chase. Both Seabass and Prince De Beauchene had excellent seasonal reappearances and should go well again today in the stamina test. Crockford offers his customary warning to followers to back any Grand National fancies before the off this afternoon as the winner’s price is certain to shorten for Aintree.

At Lingfield Planteur will make an interesting appearance for Marco Botti before probably jetting down to Meydan for the remainder of the Dubai Carnival.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Wyck Hill (3.50 Kempton)

Another expensive purchase this season for JP McManus, this highly thought of stayer will build on his win at Ascot where he outstayed the useful Katenko. David Bridgewater told ATR that he works better at home than last year’s Gold Cup second The Giant Bolster and should go well on good. With the champion jockey up how could punters dare look further? This morning’s Gold  Cup prices (50/1) and Grand National odds (20/1) will look unbelievable later.

The veteran Kinkeel may figure at big odds today at Chepstow

Crockford’s Whisper – Black Spirit e/w (3.15 Kempton)

This Newbury Group Three winner and Royal Ascot second has the quality to beat his rivals if he takes to the hurdling game on this good ground. At 15/2 he is certainly worth an each way punt on this strong whisper who is entered into the Supreme Novices at the Festival (odds 33/1)

Archer’s Selection – Marasonnien (3.10 Fairyhouse)

This highly thought of Mullins horse would have certainly attracted the attentions of the shrewd Archer especially when the competition looks weaker than he has faced before.

Crockford’s gambles around the courses this afternoon:

Kempton – Triangular e/w (1.30), Courtesy Call e/w (2.05), Molotof (2.40), Black Spirit e/w (3.15), Wyck Hill and Roberto Goldback e/w (3.50) and Katkeau (4.25)

Fairyhouse – Dogora (1.00), Glens Melody (1.30), Berties Dream (2.00), Sea Bass (2.35), Marasonnien (3.10) and Battlefront e/w (3.45)

Chepstow – Pay The King (1.35), Safran De Cotte (2.10), Oiseau De Nuit e/w (3.20), Scorched Son e/w (3.55) and Kinkeel e/w (4.30) – Races are planned to be put back by 10 minutes today

Lingfield – Speak The Truth e/w (1.55), Ladiesareforever e/w (2.30), Planteur (3.05) and Stentorian (4.15)


(Featured photography – AP McCoy after winning at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)

(Photograph – Kinkeel at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)


AP McCoy