Ten To Follow! The horse racing equivalent of fantasy football!
We’ve selected 10 national hunt horses expected to make an impact over the coming months. Some are already household names whilst others would probably fit it into the category of dark horse: they had questionable seasons last year but have no shortage of winning potential and are expected to improve for this season.
We start off with probably the most talked about rising star in Ireland from the Willie Mullins team. Chacun Pour Soi is expected to reach new heights this season with The Champion Chase at The Cheltenham Festival the main target.
CHACUN POUR SOI
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Potential Target Races: The Queen Mother Champion Chase, Cheltenham, Wednesday 11th March. 5/1 William Hill, Bet Victor, Betfred
Willie Mullins was patient unleashing this Rich Ricci owned French import. The potential was realised last season when he hammered JLT Novices Chase hero Defi Du Seuil in the Punchestown Ryanair Chase. Difficult to predict when he will make his first appearance as Mullins is keeping his cards close on this one but have no doubt that this talented chaser will make the headlines this season.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Potential Target Races: The King George VI Chase, Kempton, December 26th: 5/1 William Hill, Betfair, Bet Victor. The Queen Mother Champion Chase, Cheltenham, Wednesday 11th March: 16/1 Betfair, Paddy Power.
November 23rd is the key date for this very exciting prospect from the Paul Nicholls yard. The 2m5f Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot will see the long awaited clash between Altior and Cyrname.
The latter’s reputation is still firmly rooted in his demolition of some decent rivals at Ascot last year of which he hasn’t been seen since. The performance of the forthcoming match with Altior will give us more information regarding where Cyrname will end up.
However, he is still officially the highest rated steeple chaser in the UK and if all goes well should be a major player at The Cheltenham Festival come March.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Potential Target Races: The Supreme Novices Hurdle, Cheltenham, Tuesday 10th March: 25/1 William Hill, Bet Victor, Betfred, Paddy Power.
The Ballymore Novices Hurdle, Cheltenham, Wednesday 11th March: 25/1 William Hill
Successful with 3 bumper wins out of 4 for last season, including a Grade 2 at Aintree, this Paul Nicholls trained 5 year old is held in high regard for this season. Expect to see him contesting listed novice hurdle events with the eventual targets being the Supreme Novices or Ballymore at The Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer: Gordon Elliot
This almost forgotten 2017 Supreme Novices winner is back in training for Gordon Elliot and should be making a first run for the yard at The Morgiana Hurdle on 16th November at Punchestown. If he remains sound, he will be aimed for the Champion Hurdle in March.
IF THE CAP FITS
Trainer: Harry Fry
Paisley Park currently holds the aces on the stayers division for hurdling but this Harry Fry 7 year old really impressed last season with a 3m win at Aintree in his first attempt at the extended trip, in which he beat Roksana and Apple’s Jade. Plenty more to come from this exciting and relatively unexposed prospect.
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Despite his large scope, Nicky Henderson believes Precious Cargo is destined for the minimum staying distances with The Arkle very much in mind. Impressive winner of 2 hurdle listed events last season but failed to sparkle in a Grade One event. More to come from this 6 year old.
Trainer: Philip Hobbs
A decent third in the Champion Bumper at last year’s Cheltenham Festival puts this Philip Hobbs trained prospect in the picture for the main novice hurdle championships. The Supreme looks likely although he is arguably effective at 2m 4f.
PAPA TANGO CHARLY
Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill
Bought for a thumping £440,000 in April, trainer Jonjo O’Neill has stated that he will not rush his extravagant French trained prospect. He will likely start over a bumper before tackling the novice hurdle division. Soft ground should not be a problem and will appreciate a decent test.
Trainer: David Pipe
Hasn’t really made the cut in recent seasons but is held in high regard by his trainer David Pipe and should perform well over handicap chases with an attractive mark of 132. Can handle soft going also.
Trainer: Alan King
Winner of three handicap chases last season and rated at 147, he is expected to compete in 2m chases and will eventually step up to 2m 4f according to trainer Alan King.
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Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (10:00 14th November 2019) and are subject to change.