The National Hunt season is really getting into full swing now so I’ve put together the 10 horses over jumps I’ll be following this year!
Its impossible not to include Envoi Allen after a foot perfect Bumper season culminating in the Champion Bumper success. Gordon has said the Ballymore is the long-term plan for him and I personally can’t wait to see him jump a fence as based on his p2p win, he could get to the very top!
The Novice Hurdle scene looks seriously hot this year but I doubt there’s a better mare in the division than Gypsy Island. Its great for the game that JP McManus spreads his horses far and wide and that such a good one is in the care of Peter Fahey. She beat Daylight Katie on her last run who opened her season with a 26-length success earlier in October. Judged on that she’s certainly one to keep onside.
When this horse reappears, it’ll be a question of how far he wins by I’m sure. Potentially the star of Joseph O’Brien’s Jumps squad, he’ll be contesting Grade 1’s no problem.
The talent Gordon Elliott has on his hands is just ridiculous and reading Gordon’s Stable Tour its clear he thinks the world of this one.
“I’ve always thought a lot of him, and if you asked me at the beginning of last season which horse I thought would win the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham I probably would have said that he’d be the one.”
He’s favourite for the Supreme for a reason but if he gets there in one piece and has the season connections expect, the 8/1 will be some value come the Cheltenham roar.
He was seriously impressive on debut last year and is another Novice Hurdler I really like. The horse could really be anything and has a proper engine on him, a keen going sort who when he settles could well be the best Harry Fry has ever trained.
He was possibly a bit unlucky in the RSA last year but showed his class at Punchestown after that. I think the Gold Cup is between him and Lostintranslation and Gordon Elliott sounded very bullish in his stable tour.
“I have high hopes for him and, like I said, he can make up into a top staying chaser this season.”
The clash with Altior never materialised last season but it looks like it’ll happen this year in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot in November and this is the one who’ll finish ahead. His 17 length success in the Ascot Chase last year was arguably the performance of the season and he’s a champion in the making.
He was Willie’s only runner in the Champion Bumper which gives some clue to his ability and he lost nothing in defeat. He’s seriously exciting and judged on the great man Willie’s comments the other day he is one maybe for the Ballymore (20/1) or even the Albert Bartlett.
Clan Des Obeaux
To hear Paul Nicholls saying Clan Des Obeuax has improved means to me that between him and Cyrname, Paul will be collecting his 11th King George. The back end of last season may not have gone to plan but he just didn’t stay in the Gold Cup and then getting beaten by Kemboy at Aintree is nothing to be disheartened about. It’s a proper race he’s in at Down Royal on Saturday especially if Delta Work turns up. I just hope they don’t bump into each other too much this year!
The next Colin Tizzard superstar, all eyes will be on Carlisle on Sunday when he gets his season started. After that bigger tests are sure to come, culminating hopefully in a vintage Gold Cup.