Nicky Henderson’s Oscara Dara looks a Dead Cert for the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las today denying Dai Walters another win in the feature race
The Welsh Champion Hurdle will be the feature on what is the best card so far for Ffos Las. In a quality field Oscara Dara the recent impressive Lanzarote winner looks to have the edge over the progressive Tanerko Emery owned by Dai Walters – who established the West Wales course. The Welsh Champion Hurdle will be for the first time run as a limited handicap, a change which has been successful in attracting a larger number of runners. Beyond the front two in the market there appears to interesting each way value in horses such as Balder Succes and El Dancer who have both posted excellent previous form in the book.
The West Wales National at (2.40) provides excellent support for the feature hurdle. Crockford fancies a big show from Tim Vaughan’s Our Island who will have the stamina to stay through what will be testing conditions at the track. The Boxing Day and former Hennessy winner Carruthers returns to the scene of his last victory but will probably be tapped for toe by some of the younger more progressive sorts today.
AP McCoy and Rebecca Curtis will be many punters idea of the magic combination for this afternoon’s meeting. Crockford believes that a treble looks likely in the form of recent course winners Benheir and The Bear Trap with the highly thought of internationalapeal who Curtis feels should come on from previous runs making up the hat trick.
Follow Crockford for his talk from the course at Ffos Las this afternoon via Twitter at crockford@deadcerts
At Sandown today the Cheltenham Festival fancy Captain Conan will test his credentials before Henderson makes a final choice about which race to go for in March. Today’s race should be straightforward for this impressive sort and with that in mind Crockford advises punters to place any of their ante post bets for him for Cheltenham before the off at (2.25).
The Towton Novice Chase at Wetherby (3.20) is a hot contest where the highly regarded Goulanes will be out to show his potential against a field of proven performers in the shape of Super Duty and Restless Harry.
Marco Botti will also continue his impressive all weather run with a probable double in the (3.30) and (4.05) at Lingfield with Grey Mirage and De Rigueur.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Oscara Dara (2.05 Ffos Las)
A good winner at Punchestown and again in the Lanzarote at Sandown the rise in the weights will not keep this Henderson good thing out of the winners enclosure. At prices of 4/1 and greater this dead cert looks a steal for punters.
Crockford’s Whisper – Our Island e/w (2.40 Ffos Las)
This horse for Tim Vaughan attracted support before the off of the Welsh National back at the beginning of January and showed his ability to plug on finishing fifth that day in what was a much stronger contest than today. With a weight down the bottom and an ability to get through the conditions he is outstanding each way chance at around 12/1.
Archer’s Selection – Seebright (2.10 Wetherby)
Seebright provided Victor Dartnall with his first winner after the illness at his yard. Highly thought of by connections this horse would not have been overlooked by the shrewd Archer. First time out over hurdles he looks well placed for another victory.
Crockford’s gambles around the courses this afternoon:
Ffos Las – Top Gamble (1.30), Oscara Dara and El Dancer e/w (2.05), Our Island e/w (2.40), Benheir (3.10), The Bear Trap (3.45), Titchwood (4.20) and Internationapeal (4.50)
Sandown – Captain Conan (2.25), Mad Max (3.00), Roberto Goldback e/w (3.35) and Shangani (4.40)
Wetherby – On Borrowed Wings (1.35), Seebright (2.10), Kayf Aramis (2.45), Goulanes (3.20) and Gansey e/w (3.55)
Lingfield – Gambolling Den (1.10), Kabbaas (1.45), Grey Mirage (3.30) and De Rigueur (4.05)
(Featured Photograph – Benheir at Ffos Las by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – The Bear Trap winning at Ffos Las by Stuart Rice)