Sire De Grugy and his connections will be ready to celebrate another win in the Celebration Chase on the final day of the National Hunt season at Sandown
The most memorable moment of the season must be the emotional win of Sire De Grugy in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. For Gary Moore and the Preston family it certainly a day that they will never forget. The Finale at Sandown today will provide them another opportunity to claim a Grade One prize with their horse in the shape of the Celebration Chase. Winner last year Sire De Grugy will have no problem in beating his rivals again this year.
The old Whitbread (now 365 Gold Cup) looks to be a cracking renewal which is somewhere near the standard of the old days. With Godsmejudge coming back to form at Ayr, Alan King’s horse looks the one to follow. The danger will come from Burton Port if he can continue to progress from his recent second and recapture his early career form. Dr Richard Newland’s Ardkilly Witness is also fancied by connections.
With three strong flat cards at Ripon, Haydock and Leicester punters will be wise to look at the strong pointers provided by the early season form and high level entries that horses have. Body and Soul holds Group One entries and reappears in a handicap (Ripon 2.50) and Gordon Elliott’s Bayan (Ripon 3.30) misses a Punchestown Festival date to run on the flat instead.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Medinas (Sandown 4.25)
Winner of two top handicaps last year and not disgraced this season. Now down in grade expect this Alan King horse to romp home against weaker opposition.
Crockford’s Whisper – Body And Soul e/w (Ripon 2.50)
Holds Duke Of York and Royal Ascot entries. Beat the excellent Moviesta last season and won the Redcar Two-year-old Trophy in 2012. Massive price of 8/1 especially given the favoured Duran Fentiman on board.
Archer’s Selection – Bayan (Ripon 3.30)
The excellent performances this winter over hurdles including a game third in the Coral Cup would not have been missed by the Tin Man. This would have been his main chance and his ride.
Crockford’s Gambles on 365 Gold Cup Day:
Sandown – Keltus and Ballyglasheen e/w (2.05), Hunt Ball (2.40), Sire De Grugy (3.15), Godsmejudge e/w and Burton Port e/w (365 Gold Cup 3.50), Medinas (4.25), Vesperal Dream e/w (5.00), Vasco Du Ronceray e/w and Cash And Go e/w (5.30)
Leicester – Kool Kompany (2.30), Eagle Top (3.05) and Professor (3.40)
Ripon – Lord Aeryn e/w (2.15), Body And Soul e/w (2.50), Bayan (3.30) and Chancery e/w (4.05)
Haydock – Don’t Bother Me e/w and Louis The Pious e/w (2.20), Gabrial’s Kaka and Foxtrot Romeo e/w (3.25) and Memory Cloth (5.10)
Limerick – Toccata Blue e/w (4.10)
(Featured Photograph – Sire De Grugy winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase 2014 by Stuart Rice)