As the people in the Royal Albert Hall sang the traditional hymn of Auld Lang Syne which brought the conclusion to the Proms season as usual for me signalled the beginning of the end of summer which means that the jumps horses are in pre season training as the season slowly but surely comes around again.
Like a lot of people I have been going through my racecards from last season and picked out some horses which I think can be worth following and keeping an eye out during the winter months.
I have hand picked sixteen horses,a few of which may look obvious and be in other peoples horses to follow which is no doubt a testimony to how highly regarded some horses may be in the eyes of racing fans.
Here then is a list which I hope will do well and make a few of you a little bit richer
Beat That,6yo,N Henderson.H154
In many books for this season,A very emphatic winner of the Sefton Novices at Aintree he then followed up at Punchestown, Should More Of That go chasing then I fully expect him to take in the big staying hurdles over the season, He is a horse of huge potential.
Brother Du Berlais,5yo,P Nicholls,H139
Saw this horse win at Ayr on Scottish National Day,looks a good chasing prospect but only being a 5yo he may stay over hurdles this season and has a very exploitable mark at the moment.
A horse who was beaten over thirty lengths behind Beat That at Aintree but should have been closer had he not made schoolboy errors over the last few in the straight,owned by Trevor Hemmings he has the look of a staying chaser and could be the sort for the Four Miler at the Festival or the Fulke Walwyn.
Corrin Wood,7yo,D McCain, C150 H130
A likeable grey who beat Black Thunder at Warwick in January but was down the field in the RSA Chase at the Festival, He is a staying type and likes to bowl along at the head of affairs, I would expect him to go for the big northern handicaps like the Rowland Meryck and the Peter Marsh
Deputy Dan,6yo,O Sherwood,H145
Took the Grade Two Leamington Hurdle at Warwick back in January before finishing runner up in the Albert Bartlett,Another one who could go down the novice chasing route or have a go at taking on the staying hurdler division.
Doctor Harper,6yo,D Pipe,H145
A ready winner at Aintree on the opening day of the National meeting on his first crack at three miles, to me I would not be shocked if he turned up at Haydock on Betfair day in the big Fixed Brush Hurdle which David Pipe has farmed over the last few years, On a mark of 145 he is rated two pounds higher than last years winner Gevrey Chambertin.
Eduard,6yo,N Richards, C155
Winner of the Grade Two Novice event run at Ayr in April he gave Valdez a twenty length thrashing and put in some decent jumps as the race progressed,It’s more than probable that the Old Roan at Aintree could be an early starting point then the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, Good to see Nicky Richards have a top prospect here and with Eduard he has one to follow the elusive steps of Monets Garden.
Garde La Victoire,5yo,P Hobbs,H140
Had a useful season taking his maiden hurdle win at Aintree before following up at Warwick,had a tough time in big Graded events but finished his season with wins in the spring at Taunton and Cheltenham,A mark of 140 is fair and very exploitable in the big early season handicaps unless connections send him over the birch.
Very lightly raced horse who originally came from Luca Cumani after not making any runs on the flat,He has improved on his promising bumper form,most notably winning over hurdle at Haydock then finished down the field in the big EBF Final at Sandown, 118 is a good mark for him and should be more than capable of picking a nice handicap and will no doubt end up at Haydock,Bangor or Ludlow where trainer tends to do well.
Josses Hill,6yo,N Henderson,H150
Has kept quality company in a short career most notably when runner up in the Supreme at the Festival then went one better when taking the big Grade Two even at Aintree over 2m, It’s possible he will go novice chasing unless Mytentoryours does, He would end up on the shortlist of Arkle candidates if he goes chasing.
Miles To Memphis,5yo,A King.
Took a couple of bumpers T Kempton and at Ayr on Scottish National Day, Novice Hurdles is the starting point for this horse with plenty of potential.
Milo Man,6yo,E Williams,H127
Only had three runs over hurdles last season although he did win two of them at Carlisle on his debut back in November then at Taunton on January with a defeat into third at Leicester inbetween, With a rating of 127 this horse is very well handicapped and capable of much better this season, One to keep an eye on
Originally I saw this horse finish fourth behind Garde La Victoire at Aintree back in October,He certainly found improvement when going up in trip to 2m4f at Ayr in a Conditional/Amateur rider race over hurdles under Jack Sherwood who took the bull by the horns and kicked on after halfway with the race never in doubt, Lots of improvement expected no doubt.
Finished down the field in an ultra competitive handicap hurdle over 2m4f at Aintree in April but he can be forgiven for that race, Owned by JP McManus and under the care of Donald McCain this is a horse who can improve after the summer break, No doubt a nice easy Bangor novice event over fences will be sought for him.
The Liquidator,6yo,D Pipe,H143
Began the season brightly winning on hurdles debut at Carlisle then easily took the Grade Two event at Cheltenham’s Open meeting before finding himself outclassed by the bigger boys, a mark of 143 looks exploitable and maybe the Greatwood is a target early doors.
Lightly raced ex Irish pointer who took to racing under rules very well last season,originally a runner up in a Haydock bumper he then came back in January after following up his hurdles win at Uttoxeter by winning over the Fixed Brushes then came back a long 65 lengths last of six finishers in the Grade Two Persian War in February, Tom George has a real prospect on his hands here.
There we are then a nice selection I hope of jumpers to keep one eye on during the winter months.
It’s times like this that all fans on national hunt fans love, the anticipation of what could happen as the horses we love return from a nice summer of chilling out in the fields before being brought back in around late June and July as the trainers slowly but surely begin to bring them on as the battles ahead lie await.
The jumps season will no doubt be full of more twists and turns than the Isle of Man TT course with more stories that can be found down the local library, Everybody I know will have their own personal favourites who they can’t wait to see again and just like you reading I know that come October it’s time for the Panama to go into it’s hibernation period and the tweed over will make it’s much welcome return.